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Mr.  &  Mrs.  Horace  A.  Scott 

2208  North  Ross  Street 

Santa  Ana,  California  92706 


Garden  o!  Gethsemane 


THE 

MEDITERRANEAN 

AND  ITS  BORDERLANDS 


BY 
JOEL  COOK 

AUTHOR  OF  "FRANCE:   HISTORIC  AND  ROMANTIC* 
"ENGLAND:  PICTURESQUE  AND  DESCRIPTIVE" 


ILLUSTRATED 


IN  TWO  VOLUMES 


VOL.  II 


EASTERN  COUNTRIES 


THE   JOHN    C.    WINSTON    CO. 
PHILADELPHIA 


COPYRIGHT.  IQTO.  BY 
THE  JOHN  C.  WINSTON  Co. 


.pan 

5145306 

G-O 


CONTENTS 

VOLUME  II. 


CHAPTER  IX. 

THE  KINGDOM  OF  HELLAS.  PAGE 

The  Ionian  Isles  —  Ulysses,  King  of  Ithaca  —  Missolonghi 
and  Patras  —  Olympia  —  Sparta  and  Argolis  —  The 
Isthmus  of  Corinth  —  Parnassus  and  Delphi  —  Fa- 
mous Grecian  Places  —  The  Grecian  Capital  —  The 
Neighborhood  of  Athens 3 

CHAPTER  X. 
THE  AEGEAN  SEA. 

The  Island  of  Crete  —  The  Archipelago  —  Euboea  to 
Olympus  —  Saloniki,  Athos  and  Philippi  —  The  Siege 
of  Troy  —  The  Levant  —  The  Ruins  of  Ephesus  —  The 
Maeander  to  Tarsus  —  Cyprus  —  The  Isle  of  Rhodes  .  101 

CHAPTER  XI. 
THE  GOLDEN  HORN. 

The  Dardanelles  —  The  Bosporus  —  The  Byzantine  Capital 
—  Approach  to  Constantinople  —  The  Sweet  Waters  — 
The  Agia  Sophia  —  Some  Other  Mosques  —  The 
Seraglio  and  Treasury  —  The  Chief  of  Islam  —  The 
Selamlik  .  .  203 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER  XII. 

PALESTINE  AND  SYRIA.  PAGE 

Joppa  —  Csesarea  and  Mount  Carmel  —  The  Plain  of  Es- 
draelon  —  Nazareth  —  Tyre  and  Sidon  —  Syrian  Coast 
Cities  —  Alexandretta  to  Aleppo  —  Antioch  —  Ascend- 
ing the  Orontes —  Baalbek  —  Palmyra  and  Zenobia  .  201 

CHAPTER  XIII. 
THE  JORDAN  AND  SINAI. 
Damascus  —  Sources    of   the   Jordan  —  Galilee  —  Samaria 

—  Jericho    and    the    Dead    Sea  —  The    Approach    to 
Jerusalem  —  The    Holy    City  —  Bethlehem    to    Beer- 
sheba  —  Petra  and  Sinai  —  The  Suez  Canal      .      .      .   363 

CHAPTER  XIV. 
THE  LAND  OF  THE  PHARAOHS. 

The  River  Nile  —  Alexandria  —  Queen  Cleopatra  —  The 
Pharaohs  and  Their  Gods  —  Cairo  the  Victorious  — 
The  Pyramids  and  Sphynx 469 

CHAPTER  XV. 

A    VOTAGE    ON    THE    NlLE. 

The  Ancient  Egyptian  Capital  —  The  Fayoom  —  Beni- 
Hasan  to  Denderah  —  The  Greatest  Egyptian  Capital 

—  Esne  and  Edfu  —  The  Great  Assouan  Dam  —  The 
Upper  Nile  —  Khartoum 539 


ILLUSTRATIONS 

VOLUME  II. 


PAGE 

GARDEN  OF  GETHSEMANE Frontispiece 

THE  ARGIVE  PLAIN 40 

GALLERY  AT  TIRYNS 42 

LION  GATE,  MYCENAE    .     .          46 

THE  ACROPOLIS,  ATHENS 72 

MARS'  HILL,  ATHENS ....     80 

HERMOUPOLIS,  ISLAND  OF  SYRA 126 

THE  VALE  OF  TEMPE 140 

TURKISH  LADY 202 

BOSPORUS;  VIEW  OF  SHORES  OF  ASIA  AND  EUROPE    .     .     .  208 
GATEWAY  OF  THE  IMPERIAL  PALACE  OF  THE  SWEET  WA- 
TERS OF  ASIA 220 

MOSQUE  OF  ST.  SOPHIA .  224 

DATE-SELLER 242 

CEMETERY  OF  EYUB  AND  VIEW  OF  THE  GOLDEN  HORN    .     .  254 

MOUNT  TABOR 260 

VILLAGE  OF  JENIN  AND  PLAIN  OF  ESDRAELON 284 

ANCIENT  TOWER  OF  ZERIN,  THE  ANCIENT  JEZREEL    .     .     .  288 

TIBERIAS  AND  THE  SEA  OF  GALILEE .  382 

JACOB'S  WELL 390 

BETHANY 394 

PLACE  OF  THE  SAVIOUR'S  BAPTISM,  RIVER  JORDAN    .     .     .  400 

MOSQUE  OF  OMAR,  JERUSALEM 412 

FISHING  BOATS  ON  A  BRANCH  OF  THE  NILE 470 

VlEW  FROM  THE  SUMMIT  OF  THE  GREAT  PYRAMID  EAST- 
WARD OVER  THE  VALLEY  OF  THE  NILE 526 

THE  ISLAND  OF  PHIL^E  .  616 


THE  KINGDOM  OF  HELLAS 


THE  MEDITERRANEAN 
AND     ITS    BORDERLANDS 

IX 
THE  KINGDOM  OF  HELLAS 

The  Ionian  Isles — Corfu — Diaplo — Ithaca — Ulysses — Vathy — 
Cephalonia — Leucas — Zante — The  Morea — Elis — Missolonghi 
— Lord  Byron — Arcadia — Patras — Palaeopolis — Pyrgos  — • 
Archaeologists — Dr.  Schliemann — Olympia — Skillous — Pylos 
—  Navarino  —  Cape  Matapan  —  The  Taygetos  —  Sparta  — 
Therapne — Mistra — Sellasia  Pass — Tegea — Tripolis — Manti- 
nea  —  Argos — Tiryns — Nauplia — Midea — Herseon — Mycenae — 
Nemea  —  Corinth  —  Poseidonia  — Isthmia — Akro-Corinthe — 
Achaia — Sikyon — Megaspelason — JEgina. — The  Little  Dar- 
danelles —  Lepanto  —  Parnassus — Delphi — Salona — Ite"a— 
Thermopylae — Panopeus — Livadia — The  Helicon — Hippokrene 
• — Pegasus  —  Thespian — Leuktra — Plataea — Thebes — Boeotia — 
Cadmus — (Edipus — Tanagra — Aulis — Staniates — The  Attic 
Plain  —  Athens  —  Cecrops — Theseus — Kolonos — Academia — 
The  Piraeus — Salamis — Eleusis — Phyle — Hymettos — Pente- 
likon — Pikermi — Marathon  — JSgina — The  Oros — Laurion — 
Sunion — Cape  Colonna. 

THE    IONIAN    ISLES. 

The  isles  of  Greece,  the  isles  of  Greece! 
Where  burning  Sappho  loved  and  sung,    < 

3 


4  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Where  grew  the  arts  of  war  and  peace, 

Where  Delos  rose  and  Phoebus  sprung! 
Eternal  summer  gilds  them  yet; 
But  all  except  their  sun  is  set. 

Thus  opens  Lord  Byron's  Song  of  the  Greek  Poet. 
It  was  one  of  the  products  of  his  patriotic  missionary 
work,  which  inspired  the  great  powers  of  Europe  to 
come  to  the  rescue  of  the  people  of  Greece,  oppressed 
by  centuries  of  Turkish  misrule,  and  found  the  mod- 
ern Kingdom  of  Hellas  in  1830.  Eastward  from 
southern  Italy  and  Sicily  is  the  ancient  Ionian  Sea, 
across  which  the  tourist  sails,  seeking  the  classic 
shores  of  Greece.  The  long  Balkan  peninsula 
stretches  southward,  having  Hellas  at  its  end.  To 
this  kingdom  the  Ionian  Isles,  after  a  brief  period 
of  British  control  under  a  protectorate,  were  added 
in  November,  1863.  The  Albanian  shore,  with  its 
noble  mountain  range,  is  the  western  verge  of  the 
peninsula,  and  across  the  brilliant  blue  waters  from 
Brindisi  or  Catania  the  steamer  rapidly  speeds 
toward  the  attractive  hills  of  Corfu,  seen  hugging 
the  Albanian  coast  and  mountains  so  closely  that  it 
spreads  in  front  almost  like  a  shield  upon  the  sea. 
This  famed  island  is  a  charming  oriental  Madeira, 
its  pleasant  pastoral  scenery  extending  broadly  at 
the  base  of  the  high  Albanian  ridge,  the  chief  masses 
of  color  predominating  in  the  landscape  being  the 
silvery  gray-green  foliage  of  the  gnarled  olive  tree, 
distributed  lavishly  over  the  surface,  and  providing 
the  island's  most  prominent  product,  Corfu  pre- 


THE  IONIAN  ISLES  5 

sents  a  beautiful  scene  in  the  shadow  of  the  moun- 
tains. 

It  is  an  isle  under  Ionian  skies 
Beautiful  as  a  wreck  of  Paradise. 

The  steamer  skirts  the  imposing  Albanian  shore, 
a  Turkish  possession,  and  passes  between  it  and  the 
highlands  of  northern  Corfu,  rising  to  the  bare  and 
rocky  summit  of  Monte  San  Salvatore,  elevated 
three  thousand  feet,  and  crowned  by  a  partially 
ruined  convent.  Then  sailing  southward,  the  little 
island  of  Vido  at  first  conceals  the  town  of  Corfu, 
but,  passing  behind  it,  the  steamer  soon  anchors  in 
the  harbor,  having  as  its  special  feature  the  double 
protuberance  of  the  Fortezza  Vecchia,  thrust  boldly 
into  the  sea  to  the  eastward,  and  rising  abruptly 
about  two  hundred  and  thirty  feet.  These  pictur- 
esque cliffs  are  surmounted  by  decaying  fortifications, 
built  during  the  Venetian  rule,  and  they  are  so  steep 
that  Xelson's  unique  plan  for  capturing  them  was 
to  run  a  frigate  ashore  at  their  base  and  scale  the 
cliff  tops  from  the  fore  and  main  topgallant  yards. 
Corfu  is  the  largest  of  the  seven  Ionian  Islands, 
which  are  also  called  from  their  number  the  Hep- 
tanesos.  It  is  the  Grecian  Kerkyra,  and  was  the 
Phaecian  island  of  Scheria,  that  Homer  mentions 
in  the  Odyssey.  It  is  broad  and  mountainous  in  the 
northern  portion,  with  a  long,  narrow,  low  and  ex- 
tremely fertile  southern  strip.  The  Corinthians 
came  over  from  the  mainland,  in  the  eighth  century 


6  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

B.  C.,  establishing  Corcyra,  which  soon  grew  so 
greatly  that  it  attacked  the  mother  city  of  Corinth, 
and  in  the  first  naval  battle  on  record  defeated  the 
Corinthians  665  B.  C.  It  later  became  an  ally  of 
Athens,  in  the  Peloponnesian  War,  was  conquered  by 
Home,  and  for  more  than  a  dozen  centuries  was  part 
of  the  Byzantine  empire,  falling  to  the  share  of  the 
Venetians  in  the  partition  of  1205  made  by  the 
Crusaders.  Venice  held  it,  excepting  during  a 
Neapolitan  interval,  until  1797,  the  Turks  being 
twice  repulsed  in  famous  sieges  of  Corfu,  in  1537 
and  1715.  The  French  controlled  for  a  few  years, 
but  from  1815  until  November,  1863,  it  formed  part 
of  the  "  Seven-Island  State,"  the  Heptanesos,  under 
British  Lord  High  Commissioners,  of  whom  the 
most  noted  was  Sir  Thomas  Maitland,  popularly 
called  "  King  Tom."  The  island  now  forms  with 
Paxos,  Antipaxos  and  Leucas,  a  nomos,  or  province, 
of  which  the  town  of  Corfu  is  the  capital. 

Corfu  has  a  spacious  harbor,  enclosed  on  either 
hand  by  the  old  fortifications  of  the  Venetians,  to  the 
eastward  the  bold  heights  of  the  Fortezza  Vecchia, 
and  to  the  northwest  the  Fortezza  Nuova.  They 
were  maintained  during  the  British  control,  but  the 
changes  in  methods  of  warfare  superseded  these 
massive  stone  works,  and  after  1864  they  fell  into 
decay.  Similarly  also  declined  the  ancient  enclosing 
wall.  As  in  most  oriental  harbors,  the  landing  from 
ships  is  by  small  boats  with  the  usual  excitement, 


THE  IONIAN  ISLES  T 

noise  and  confusion,  trade  being  active  and  olive 
oil  the  chief  export.  Most  of  the  streets  are  narrow, 
the  chief  highway  being  Nikephoros  Street,  with 
arcaded  houses  and  open  shops,  reproducing  an  ori- 
ental bazaar,  and  leading  to  the  spacious  and 
luxuriantly-shaded  Esplanade,  on  the  eastern  verge, 
between  the  town  and  the  Fortezza  Vecchia.  To  the 
northward  of  this  street  stands  the  great  shrine  of 
Corfu,  the  Church  of  St.  Spiridion.  He  was  the 
pious  bishop  of  Cyprus  in  the  fourth  century,  cruelly 
tortured  in  the  Diocletian  persecutions,  and  held  in 
reverence  by  the  Greeks,  who  brought  his  remains 
here  in  the  fifteenth  century.  They  are  borne  on 
four  occasions,  every  year,  in  solemn  procession 
through  the  streets,  and  are  kept  in  a  silver  coffin, 
which  at  other  times  rests  in  a  chapel  adjoining  the 
high  altar.  The  graystone  royal  palace  faces  the 
Esplanade,  its  vestibule  containing  an  antique  lion, 
found  in  excavating  an  ancient  temple  south  of  the 
town,  and  believed  to  date  from  the  seventh  cen- 
tury B.  C.  The  buildings  of  the  old  fortress,  on  the 
high  rock  to  the  eastward,"  are  now  the  Grecian  mili- 
tary headquarters,  and  from  this  elevation  there  is 
a  noble  view.  A  pleasant  highway  skirts  the  shore 
to  the  southward,  popularly  known  as  the  Strada 
Marina,  and  near  it  is  the  chief  of  the  relics  of  an- 
cient Corfu,  a  low  circular  structure  of  the  seventh 
century  B.  C.,  discovered  in  removing  the  old  town 
walls  in  1843 — the  Tomb  of  Menekrates,  who, 


8  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  inscription  says,  was  representative  of  his  native 
town  (Eanthe,  in  Corcyra,  and  lost  his  life  by  drown- 
ing. Corfu  was  a  favorite  resort  of  the  late  Empress 
Elizabeth  of  Austria,  who  was  assassinated  by  an 
anarchist  at  Geneva.  Her  beautiful  white  marble 
villa,  the  Achilleion,  was  bought  in  1907  for  $3,000,- 
000  by  the  Emperor  William  of  Germany  for  a  win- 
ter resort.  It  was  named  from  a  striking  statue  of 
the  hero  Achilles  in  the  grounds,  the  tutelary  spirit 
chosen  by  the  empress  for  this,  her  "  Dream  Palace." 
Everywhere,  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  capital, 
the  island  displays  pleasant  pastoral  scenery,  with 
gently  sloping  hills,  charming  bays,  a  luxuriant  veg- 
etation, and  the  sea  dotted  with  flitting  yachts  and 
the  red  lateen  sails  of  the  native  boats,  standing  over 
in  the  wind,  while  dominating  all  is  the  bold  out- 
line of  the  Albanian  mountains,  enclosing  the  eastern 
horizon,  and  having  behind  them  the  Albanian  capi- 
tal Jannina,  the  ancient  town  that  the  modern  Greeks 
regard  as  an  inland  Gibraltar.  Olive  groves,  or- 
chards and  vineyards  are  everywhere,  with  flowers 
in  profusion,  and  the  picturesque  dress  of  the  people 
is  an  added  attraction.  An  ample  sheepskin  cloak 
is  worn  by  the  men,  having  underneath,  petticoats 
and  coarse  white  cotton  leggings,  the  footwear  being 
curious  sandals  with  curved,  high-pointed  projecting 
toes.  A  towel-like  head-dress  surmounts  the  women, 
appearing  like  a  turban,  extending  into  a  nun's  veil, 
falling  over  their  garments.  The  roads  are  excel- 


THE  IONIAN  ISLES  9 

lent,  being  a  survival  of  the  British  protectorate. 
The  Strada  Marina,  extending  down  the  peninsula, 
between  the  sea  and  the  inland  Lake  Kalikiopoulo, 
passes  the  region  of  the  ancient  town,  now  called 
Palseopolis  and  its  harbor,  the  lake,  which  was  the 
station  for  war  galleys,  having  its  entrance  silted  up. 
The  road  ends  at  the  extremity  of  the  peninsula  in 
a  circular  space  known  as  the  Canone,  meaning  the 
"  one-gun  battery."  This  region,  like  everywhere 
else  almost,  in  the  Ionian  archipelago,  is  full  of 
traditions  of  Ulysses.  Opposite  is  the  little  isle, 
named  from  its  form,  Pontikonisi,  or  the  "  mouse 
island,"  which  is  popularly  known  as  the  Scoglio  di 
Ulisse,  the  local  tale  being  that  this  island  was  the 
ship  that  brought  Ulysses  here,  which  was  wrecked 
and  turned  into  stone,  by  the  angry  sea  god  Poseidon 
(the  Grecian  Neptune),  who  was  persecuting  him. 
On  the  adjacent  shore  of  the  lake  flows  in  a  little 
brook  where  the  hero  was  cast  up  on  the  beach  when 
wrecked.  Off  the  northwest  coast  of  Corfu  are  the 
group  of  Othenian  Islands,  the  smallest,  Diaplo,  be- 
ing the  supposed  island  of  Calypso,  where  Ulysses  so 
long  sojourned  with  the  siren.  The  favorite  drives 
are  usually  bounded  by  imposing  hedges  of  cactus, 
and  they  display  the  vast  extent  of  olive  growing, 
there  being  about  four  millions  of  trees  in  Corfu, 
which,  with  the  sombre  cypress,  dominate  the  scenery. 
The  olives,  growing  forty  to  sixty  feet  high,  attain 
a,  development  and  beauty  elsewhere  unequalled, 


10  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

blossoming  in  April,  and  the  fruit  ripening  in  the 
subsequent  winter.  The  oil,  on  account  of  indiffer- 
ent methods  of  manufacture,  however,  is  inferior  to 
the  Italian  product.  There  is  also  an  extensive 
growth  of  figs,  oranges,  lemons  and  grapes. 

ULYSSES,    KING    OF    ITHACA. 

We  have  come  to  the  land  of  Ulysses  —  one  of 
the  most  typical  representatives  of  the  original 
Hellenic  race,  the  hero  of  Homer's  Odyssey. 
Ulysses,  or  Odysseus,  was  the  son  of  Laertes,  and 
his  wife  was  Penelope,  the  daughter  of  Icarius.  He 
was  King  of  Ithaca,  the  island  to  the  southward  of 
Corfu,  and  soon  after  his  marriage  was  summoned 
to  join  Agamemnon  and  the  Greek  heroes  in  the 
Trojan  war.  At  first  unwilling,  he  was  afterward 
compelled  to  go,  and  became  the  shrewdest  counsellor 
of  the  Greeks  in  the  siege,  the  ultimate  capture  of 
Troy  being  accomplished  by  his  stratagem  of  the 
wooden  horse.  When  Achilles  died  that  hero's 
armor  was  adjudged  to  Ulysses  as  the  leader  who 
had  done  most  to  make  the  war  successful.  Troy 
being  captured,  he  set  sail  for  Ithaca,  and  then  began 
the  long  series  of  adventures  described  in  the 
Odyssey,  due  to  the  interference  of  his  enemy,  the 
sea  god  Poseidon,  who  was  angered  because  Ulysses 
had  blinded  his  son,  the  Cyclops  Polyphemus.  Un- 
favorable winds  blew  his  vessel  to  the  coast  of  Africa, 
and  he  encountered  many  perils  in  all  parts  of  the 


ULYSSES,  KING  OF  ITHACA  11 

unknown  seas,  in  the  isles  of  JEolus  and  Sicily, 
braved  the  dangers  of  Scylla  and  Charybdis,  and 
even  descended  into  the  under  world  of  the  dead. 
Having  lost  all  his  ships  and  companions,  he  barely 
escaped  with  his  own  life,  and  was  shipwrecked  on 
the  enchanted  island  of  Ogygia,  described  as  situated 
deep  in  the  ocean,  and  remote  from  all  intercourse 
with  gods  and  men.  Here  reigned  the  nymph 
Calypso,  daughter  of  Atlas,  and  for  seven  years  she 
detained  him  by  her  wiles.  She  tried  every  ex- 
pedient to  induce  him  to  remain  and  marry  her, 
even  promising  eternal  youth  and  immortality,  but 
he  declined  for  the  sake  of  Penelope.  She  bore  him 
two  sons,  and  finally  at  the  command  of  Zeus,  he  was 
sent  homeward,  Calypso  dying  of  grief  at  his  leav- 
ing. Then  he  was  again  wrecked  on  the  Phsecian 
island  (Corfu),  but  was  ultimately  carried  south- 
ward to  Ithaca,  in  one  of  the  Pha3cian  ships,  which 
were  the  most  noted  in  those  days.  Here  he  was  set 
ashore,  while  asleep,  by  the  good  Phaecian  sailors, 
after  twenty  years'  absence,  and  found  Penelope 
faithful  to  his  memory,  but  having  a  host  of  suitors 
trying  to  force  her  to  marry  one  of  them,  and  wasting 
his  property.  Laertes  had  died,  and  she  was  putting 
them  off  by  declaring  that  she  must  first  weave  his 
shroud,  so  she  wove  it  by  day  and  unwove  it  by  night, 
thus  prolonging  the  task.  He  got  revenge  on  the 
suitors,  and  the  stratagems  and  disguises  by  which 
he,  with  a  few  faithful  friends,  attacked  and  slew 


12  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

them  are  described  in  the  Odyssey.  This  great 
epic  of  the  poet  Homer  makes  Ulysses  the  typical 
representative  of  the  ancient  sailor  race  whose  ad- 
venturous voyages  moulded  and  educated  the  Hellenic 
peoples.  Consequently,  in  works  of  art  the  hero 
is  usually  represented  as  wearing  a  conical  sailor's 
cap. 

Ulysses'  mythical  kingdom  of  Ithaca,  as  it  exists 
to-day,  is  a  small  island,  south  by  east  from  Corfu, 
and  not  far  away  from  the  Greek  coast,  having  out- 
side it,  and  separated  by  a  narrow  strait,  the  larger 
Ionian  Island  of  Cephalonia.  It  is  a  strangely 
shaped  rocky  mass,  covering  only  thirty-six  miles 
surface,  being  almost  bisected  by  the  Gulf  of  Molo, 
deeply  indented  in  the  eastern  side,  with  rugged 
elevated  plateaus,  rising  both  to  the  north  and  the 
south,  and  the  chief  town,  Vathy,  being  on  a  pleasant 
bay  on  the  eastern  side  of  the  Molo.  The  narrow 
rocky  ridge  of  the  Aetos,  elevated  over  six  hundred 
feet,  makes  a  curious  isthmus,  connecting  the  two 
parts  of  the  island,  curving  from  west  to  north,  and 
gradually  expanding  and  rising  into  the  broad 
plateau  of  Anoi,  elevated  about  2,700  feet.  To  the 
southeastward,  it  also  becomes  the  high  and  curving 
plateau  and  ridge  of  Stephoni,  bending  from  south 
around  to  east,  and  elevated  2,200  feet,  which  is  the 
backbone  of  the  southern  mass  of  this  remarkable 
island.  To  the  north  and  northeast  this  ridge  falls 
off  to  the  harbor  of  \7athy,  thus  called  from  its  depth, 


ULYSSES,  KING  OF  ITHACA  13 

and  having  the  pretty  little  town  along  its  farthest 
southeastern  verge.  This  is  said  to  have  been 
the  Harbor  of  Phorkys,  where  the  Phsecian  ship 
finally  landed  Ulysses,  on  his  return  after  his 
wanderings  and  many  adventures.  At  the  en- 
trance, as  told  in  the  Odyssey,  are  the  "  two  head- 
lands of  sheer  cliff,  which  slope  to  the  sea  on  the 
haven's  side,  and  break  the  mighty  wave  that  ill 
winds  roll  without."  All  about  are  ancient  graves 
and  relics  of  antiquity,  though  the  present  town 
is  comparatively  modern.  There  are  many  places 
recalled  here  that  are  mentioned  in  the  Odyssey, 
but  at  best  the  allusions  are  mythical,  and  there 
is  a  historic  blank  in  the  tradition,  because  dur^ 
ing  the  middle  ages  the  island  was  almost  de- 
populated by  the  piratical  raids  and  Turkish  in- 
roads that  oppressed  it  for  centuries.  During  the 
nineteenth  century,  however,  Dr.  Schliemann  and 
other  antiquarians  made  extensive  researches  in  lo- 
calizing the  Homeric  descriptions. 

On  the  road  through  the  pass  east  of  the  Aetos, 
fully  commanding  all  movements  along  or  across  the 
isthmus,  and  a  short  distance  west  of  Vathy,  the  hill- 
side has  the  remains  of  fortifications,  a  cistern  and 
tower,  this  having  been  the  ancient  stronghold,  now 
known  as  the  Castle  of  Odysseus.  In  the  limestone 
hill,  southwest  of  the  town,  is  a  stalactite  cave  about 
fifty  feet  in  diameter,  which  is  thought  to  have  been 
Homer's  "  Grotto  of  the  Nymphs."  To  the  south- 


14  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

ward  of  the  town,  and  near  the  sea,  is  the  spring  of 
Perapegadi,  its  waters  running  briskly  down  under 
the  rocks  to  the  shore  below.  This  rocky  cliff  is  said 
to  be  the  Korax  Rock,  and  the  spring,  the  Arethusa 
of  Homer,  where  the  Odyssey  tells  us  that  the  swine 
of  Eumaeos  ate  "  abundance  of  acorns  and  drank  the 
black  water,  things  that  make  in  good  case  the  rich 
flesh  of  swine."  The  pastures  of  Eumceos,  which 
lay  "  on  a  mighty  rock,"  and  "  in  a  place  with  a 
wide  prospect  "  are  located  above,  on  the  Merathia 
plateau,  rising  over  900  feet.  The  Homeric  town  of 
Ithaka,  where  the  hero's  capitol  and  palace  stood,  is 
claimed  to  be  in  the  neighborhood  of  Stavros,  in  the 
northwestern  portion  of  the  island,  where  the  plateau 
of  Anoi  falls  off  toward  the  sea.  Here  is  indented 
in  the  western  coast  the  Bay  of  Polis  (meaning  "  the 
city  "),  its  valley  extending  inland  to  Stavros,  a  mod- 
ern village  of  scattered  houses.  There  are  various 
ancient  remains  in  the  neighborhood,  among  vine- 
yards and  olive  groves,  and  to  the  northward  a  rude 
stairway  leads  up  to  a  rocky  plateau  known  as 
"  Homer's  School."  The  original  settlement  in  this 
region  is  traced  by  examining  the  ancient  remains, 
which  date  from  the  seventh  century  B.  C.  to  the 
end  of  the  Roman  empire.  We  are  told  that  the 
suitors  for  Penelope  waited  on  "  a  rocky  isle  in  the 
mid  sea,  midway  between  Ithaka  and  rugged  Samos, 
Asteris,  a  little  isle."  This  is  the  Daskaleo,  or 
"  wooers'  islet,"  off  the  shore,  toward  Cephalonia, 


ULYSSES,  KING  OF  ITHACA  15 

near  where  the  village  of  Samos  is  located,  although 
farther  southward.  But  all  these  matters  existed 
far  back  in  the  misty  realms  of  the  ancient  Grecian 
myths.  On  the  highest  part  of  the  hill,  above  the 
Bay  of  Polis,  with  a  fine  outlook  over  the  sea,  is  the 
ancient  Kastro,  or  castle  of  the  town,  its  southern 
landward  view  being  bounded  by  the  massive  Anoi, 
the  Homeric  Xeritos. 

Cephalonia,  the  Grecian  Kephallenia,  and  Homer's 
Same,  one  of  the  largest  Ionian  Islands,  is  westward 
of  Ithaca.  It  was  part  of  the  kingdom  of  Ulysses. 
The  name  comes  from  the  elevation  of  its  mountains, 
rising  in  the  highest  ridge  of  the  Ionian  archipelago, 
the  summit  of  the  ^Enos  being  elevated  5,310  feet, 
the  Monte  Leone  of  the  Venetians,  giving  a  superb 
view.  A  stone  pyramid  is  on  the  top,  and  here  was 
an  altar  to  Zeus,  there  being  found  the  calcined  bones 
of  the  animals  offered  in  sacrifice.  Argostoli,  the 
capital,  is  on  a  pleasant  harbor,  running  far  into  the 
southwestern  coast  of  the  island,  and  it  exports  cur- 
rants, wine  and  olive  oil.  Xear  by  are  the  famous 
"  sea  mills,"  driven  by  a  current  of  sea-water  flow- 
ing a  short  distance  into  the  land,  and  then  falling 
through  fissures  in  the  limestone,  thus  furnishing 
the  power.  About  five  miles  southeast,  in  a  splen- 
did position,  is  the  old  Castle  of  St.  George,  the 
Venetian  stronghold,  founded  in  the  thirteenth  cen- 
tury, which  dominated  the  island.  The  town  of 
Kephallenia,  mentioned  by  Ptolemy,  was  near  by, 


16  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  to  the  westward  are  the  ruins  of  the  Grecian  set- 
tlement of  Kranici,  which  survived  under  the 
Romans.  The  little  village  of  Samos,  the  ancient 
Same,  meaning  "  on  the  shore,"  is  at  the  sea  outlet 
of  a  valley,  forming  a  sheltered  bay  on  the  eastern 
coast.  It  was  noted  in  the  Grecian  era,  and  de- 
stroyed upon  the  Roman  conquest,  but  afterward  re- 
vived. Here  are  numerous  ancient  remains.  On 
the  extreme  northern  extremity  of  Cephalonia  in 
1085  died  the  Norman  conqueror  Robert  Guiscard, 
and  the  village  of  Phiscardo,  where  he  expired,  re- 
produced his  name. 

Leucas,  north  of  Ithaca,  closely  hugs  the  Grecian 
shore,  and  is  practically  a  mountain  chain,  culmi- 
nating in  the  summit  of  Mount  St.  Elias,  elevated 
3,870  feet.  A  lagoon  about  two  miles  wide  sepa- 
rates it  from  the  mainland,  the  channel  between  hav- 
ing to  be  dredged  to  prevent  shoaling.  Sand  strips 
connect  with  the  shore,  and  on  one  of  these  is  the 
chief  town  at  the  northeastern  extremity  of  the  island, 
Leucas,  where  earthquakes  are  so  frequent  that  most 
of  the  houses  are  small  wooden  structures.  The 
Venetians  named  this  land  Santa  Maura.  To  the 
northward,  and  near  Corfu,  are  the  diminutive 
islands  of  Paxos  and  Antipaxos.  Southward  from 
Cephalonia  is  the  seventh  island  of  the  Ionian  group, 
Zante,  the  Grecian  Zakynthos,  famous  for  its  cur- 
rants, which  are  a  dried  small  grape  growing  here 
and  on  the  neighboring  shores  of  Greece.  It  has 


MISSOLONGHI  AND  PATRAS  17 

always  been  an  earthquake  sufferer,  and  is  largely 
a  mountain  ridge,  falling  off  to  luxuriantly  fertile 
plains  on  the  eastern  side. 

MISSOLONGHI    AND    PATEAS. 

From  the  hilltops  of  Zante,  across  the  blue  waters 
of  the  strait  to  the  eastward,  is  seen  the  classic  land 
of  Greece.  It  is  the  coast  of  Elis  of  the  Morea,  pro- 
jecting in  the  bluff  promontory  of  Chelonatas,  as  the 
ancients  called  it,  having  the  little  seaport  of  Kyllene 
nestling  at  its  northern  base,  while  the  shore  beyond 
trends  toward  the  northeast,  to  the  entrance  of  the 
Gulf  of  Patras.  As  the  steamer  moves  along,  the 
ruins  of  the  old  castle  on  the  promontory,  built  by 
Geoffrey  of  Villehardouin,  in  the  days  of  the  Bur- 
gundian  rule,  spread  extensively  over  the  hill.  It 
was  in  those  days  the  greatest  baronial  stronghold 
in  the  Morea,  but  the  Turks  destroyed  it  in  1825. 
The  steamer  skirts  the  rather  flat  coast  of  Elis  to 
its  termination  at  Cape  Kalogria,  where  another 
ruined  castle,  Larisa,  dominates  an  eminence,  and 
then  it  crosses  the  entrance  of  the  Gulf  of  Patras  to 
Missolonghi,  the  Grecian  Mesolongion,  on  the  north- 
ern shore,  a  broad  lagoon  separating  the  little  town 
from  the  sea.  This  was  one  of  the  noted  places  in 
the  Greek  war  of  independence,  located  in  a  low  and 
marshy  region,  a  long  causeway  leading  across  the 
lagoon  to  the  town.  It  was  a  small  fishing  village  in 

the  early  nineteenth  century,   when  the   Greeks   of 
VOL.  II— 2 


18  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

western  Hellas  began  their  resistance  to  the  Turks, 
and  made  the  place  their  stronghold.  They  suc- 
cessfully defended  it  against  attacks  in  1822  and 
1823,  the  latter  siege  being  repulsed  by  the  hero 
Marco  Bozzaris,  who  fell  in  a  night  sortie  in  August. 
It  was  then  that  Lord  Byron,  who  took  such  a  warm 
interest  in  Grecian  independence,  appeared  on  the 
scene.  He  had  come  to  Cephalonia,  where  he  char- 
tered vessels  for  the  relief  of  Missolonghi,  and  con- 
tributed a  fund  of  $60,000,  by  which  its  fortifications 
were  restored  and  strengthened.  Later,  he  trans- 
ferred his  residence  to  the  threatened  town,  and  his 
arrival,  in  January,  1824,  was  received  with  every 
mark  of  honor  that  Grecian  gratitude  could  devise. 
He  was  attacked  with  fever  in  April,  however,  and 
died  on  the  19th,  at  the  early  age  of  37.  The  Turks, 
under  Ibrahim  Pasha,  began  a  third  siege  in  April, 
1825,  continuing  a  year,  when  the  almost  famished 
garrison  attempted  to  cut  their  way  out  by  a  desper- 
ate sortie,  April  22,  1826,  at  midnight.  There  were 
three  thousand  troops,  and  about  twice  as  many  non- 
combatants,  including  women  and  children,  who 
made  the  attempt.  Thirteen  hundred  men,  two  hun- 
dred women  and  a  few  children  managed  to  escape, 
the  others  being  driven  back  and  mercilessly  slaugh- 
tered, the  result  being  that  the  Greeks,  in  despera- 
tion, exploded  the  powder  magazines,  destroying  both 
friends  and  foes.  The  Turks  then  were  masters  of 
the  ruined  town,  but  in  1828  their  control  ended  in 


MISSOLONGHI  AND  PATRAS  19 

a  surrender,  when  Ibrahim  Pasha  left  the  Morea,  and 
the  way  was  paved  for  Grecian  independence.  The 
Heroon,  the  burial  place  of  the  heroic  Greeks  who 
conducted  the  defence,  is  outside  the  eastern  gate, 
within  a  fort.  There  is  a  large  funeral  mound, 
while  a  smaller  one  contains  the  heart  of  Lord  Byron, 
his  statue  standing  in  conspicuous  position.  Here 
is  also  the  tomb  of  Marco  Bozzaris. 

The  Morea,  so  called,  supposedly,  from  its  mul- 
berry trees,  is  the  southern  peninsula  of  Greece, 
known  anciently  as  the  Peloponnesus,  a  name  that 
not  long  ago  was  revived.  The  narrow  isthmus  of 
Corinth  connects  it  with  the  mainland  of  the  Balkan 
peninsula,  there  being  deeply  indented  gulfs  on  either 
hand.  Its  central  district  is  Arcadia,  a  region  of 
mountains,  which  is  encircled  by  other  mountains, 
descending  in  terraces  toward  the  north,  and  also 
in  peninsulas  extending  southward  into  the  sea.  Out 
of  these  highlands  flow  many  streams,  tumbling  down 
the  slopes,  torrents  in  seasons  of  rains,  but  after  the 
summer  droughts  mostly  dry  beds.  The  old  Greeks 
believed  that  the  gods  they  worshipped  dwelt  in  the 
mountains,  and  therefore  these  mountains  were  ven- 
erated. The  high  ranges  also  formed  natural  bar- 
riers, dividing  the  people  into  many  little  states  with 
separate  rulers,  and  often  at  war.  It  required  very 
serious  attacks  from  outside  enemies  to  effectively 
overcome  these  internal  jealousies  and  unite  them  in 
fighting  the  common  foe.  The  Morea  ultimately  fell 


20  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

under  the  Roman  rule,  and  on  the  downfall  of  the 
Byzantine  empire  was  conquered  by  the  Burgun- 
dians  and  then  by  the  Venetians,  passing  to  the  Nea- 
politan house  of  Anjou,  and  in  the  fifteenth  century 
to  the  Turks.  The  war  of  liberation  ended  in  the 
foundation  of  the  Grecian  kingdom  of  Hellas. 

The  deeply  indented  Gulf  of  Patras  has,  as  its 
chief  port,  on  the  southern  shore,  the  city  of  Patras, 
with  forty  thousand  people,  the  capital  of  Achaia 
and  the  largest  town  in  the  peninsula,  an  active 
harbor  whence  is  sent  a  valuable  export  of  currants 
and  olive  oil,  tlje  chief  products  of  the  country.  At 
the  dawn  of  history  this  was  known  as  Aroe,  the 
"  arable  land,"  the  first  king  being  the  legendary 
Eumelos,  who  was  "  rich  in  flocks."  Achaean  in- 
vaders came  from  the  east  and  expelled  the  original 
people,  naming  the  settlement  Patrse.  It  was,  like 
Corinth,  an  early  seat  of  Christianity,  and  among  its 
vague  traditions  is  one  that  St.  Andrew  was  crucified 
and  buried  here,  he  being  the  patron  saint.  At 
Patras  was  first  raised  the  standard  of  rebellion,  in 
April,  1821,  which  ended  in  the  Grecian  liberation. 
The  result  was  its  almost  entire  destruction  by  the 
Turks,  but  it  has  been  rebuilt,  with  wide  arcaded 
streets  and  modern  buildings  that  are  attractive. 
The  old  Venetian  castle,  which  was  the  Turkish 
stronghold,  rises  on  an  eminence  back  of  the  town, 
is  its  chief  relic  of  the  past,  and  is  now  a  prison  and 
barracks.  From  Patras,  around  the  western  coast 


MISSOLONGHI  AND  PATRAS  21 

of  the  peninsula,  is  constructed  a  railroad,  which 
gives  in  many  places  beautiful  views  over  the  sea, 
and  leads  to  Olympia,  famous  in  the  annals  of  an- 
cient Greece.  The  route  crosses  the  outlying  foot- 
hills of  the  Arcadian  mountains,  passing  various 
ruined  cities  of  the  olden  time.  Among  these  is 
Palseopolis,  with  many  relics  of  the  Roman  period, 
which  marks  the  site  of  the  ancient  city  of  Elis, 
dating  from  the  fifth  century  B.  C.,  a  city  without 
walls,  at  the  foot  of  a  hill  surmounted  by  a  temple  of 
Athena.  At  Pyrgos,  another  busy  town,  exporting 
currants,  the  route  turns  inland  from  the  sea,  along 
the  broad  plain  adjoining  the  Alpheios  river,  and 
leads  to  the  sacred  shrine  of  ancient  Greece,  Olympia. 
Pyrgos  is  the  capital  of  the  modern  province  of  Elis, 
and  all  this  region  was  most  unexpectedly  startled, 
in  July,  1909,  by  a  sharp  earthquake  shock,  which 
was  felt  all  the  way  from  Patras  to  Pyrgos,  throw- 
ing down  the  houses  in  several  villages  and  killing 
over  three  hundred  persons. 

!N"o  country  in  the  world  has  more  relics  or  more 
interesting  survivals  of  early  architecture  and  civili- 
zation than  Greece,  and  consequently  it  has  become 
a  fruitful  field  for  archaeological  exploration.  Search- 
ing parties  wander  over  this  most  attractive  land  and 
find  many  treasures.  A  government  permit  is  neces- 
sary before  starting,  which  is  readily  obtained,  but 
report  must  be  made  of  all  the  "  finds."  The  ex- 
plorers take  camp  equipage,  and  can  readily  secure 


22  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

laborers  to  do  the  digging,  at  a  drachme  or  two  a  day, 
this  coin,  representing  a  franc  or  about  eighteen  cents, 
being  the  Grecian  silver  coin  named  after  the  origi- 
nal idea  of  the  draclime,  or  handful  of  coin  given 
in  barter.  Much  of  the  surface  is  thus  dug  over,  and 
occasionally  a  treasure  is  unearthed,  an  inscription 
or  a  statue,  or  sometimes  the  foundations  of  old 
structures,  with  vases,  columns  or  other  relics. 
Systematic  explorations  have  long  been  made  by  the 
governments  of  France  and  Germany,  and  also 
through  American  liberality,  which  supports  the 
American  Institute  of  Archaeology  at  Athens,  while 
similar  schools  are  established  there  by  other  nation- 
alities. Many  of  the  most  famous  scientists  of  the 
world  spend  their  time  in  hunting  Grecian  treasures, 
and  the  value  of  what  is  found  goes  one-half  to  the 
government,  one-quarter  to  the  finder,  and  one-quar- 
ter to  the  land  owner.  The  objects  discovered  reveal 
the  modes  of  life  of  the  ancient  peoples,  not  only  of 
Greece,  but  also  of  Egypt,  Persia,  Phoenicia  and 
Rome.  The  greatest  delver  in  Greece  and  its  neigh- 
borhood has  been  Dr.  Heinrich  Schliemann,  who  be- 
came so  fascinated  by  his  schoolboy  studies  of  the 
Trojan  War  that  after  an  early  life  of  hard  work 
he  devoted  his  fortune  to  these  investigations.  He 
was  of  German  birth,  a  poor  cabin  boy,  who  was 
shipwrecked  on  the  Holland  coast,  and  became  at- 
tached to  a  mercantile  house  in  Amsterdam.  In 
1870  the  Greek  government  gave  him  permission 


MISSOLONGHI  AND  PATRAS  23 

to  explore  ruins,  and  he  labored  for  twenty  years  in 
explorations,  including  Troy,  his  excavations  develop- 
ing many  discoveries  about  the  ancient  Greeks.  He 
died  in  1890,  and  his  "  Palace  of  Troy,"  at  Athens, 
is  a  famous  treasure-house,  surmounted  by  statues 
of  the  noted  heroes  about  whom  Homer  sang. 

There  are  some  difficulties  in  these  journeyings 
for  relic  finding.  The  roads  of  Greece  are  seldom 
good,  and  in  the  rural  districts  the  Xenedochia,  or 
inns,  and  the  humbler  cottages,  known  as  Khans,  are 
unattractive,  while  the  traveller  must  provide  in 
them  his  bed-covering  and  much  of  the  food,  also 
plenty  of  insect-powder  with  which  to  combat  va- 
rious pests  that  are  more  to  be  feared  in  the  present 
era  than  the  brigands  of  whom  so  much  formerly  was 
said.  The  donkey  and  the  bicycle  provide  the  usual 
means  of  locomotion.  The  great  scenic  attractions 
of  the  country  are  enhanced  by  the  wonderfully  clear 
atmosphere  and  the  widely  varied  range  of  vegeta- 
tion. The  different  elevations  of  the  surface  give  it 
the  flora  of  every  clime,  from  the  palms,  olives  and 
fruits  of  the  tropics  up  through  the  corn  and  vines, 
the  walnuts  and  chestnuts  of  the  temperate  zone,  to 
the  higher-growing  pines  and  beeches,  and  finally 
the  Arctic  vegetation  of  the  mountain  slopes,  capped 
with  snow  the  greater  portion  of  the  year.  The  cli- 
mate is  changeable  and  cold,  due  to  the  strong  winds 
coming  out  of  the  mountains,  while  the  winter  pro- 
duces copious  rains.  But  the  spring  brings  bright 


24  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

flowers  and  luxuriant  vegetation,  and  fully  explains 
how  the  old-time  people  of  this  beautiful  land  made 
the  flowers  so  prominent  in  festal  ceremony  and 
wreathed  garlands  of  blossoms  over  everything. 
There  are  many  flocks  of  sheep,  and  on  St.  George's 
Day  the  shepherds  take  them  out  to  the  pastures  on 
the  hills,  marking  it  by  feasting  on  spring  lamb,  for 
this  is  the  only  meat-meal  they  have  in  the  year,  liv- 
ing the  rest  of  the  time  on  black  bread,  garlic  and 
cheese  with  sometimes  a  little  of  the  resinous  wine 
of  the  country.  These  shepherds  are  brawny  fellows, 
in  long  blouses  belted  at  the  waist,  knee  breeches  and 
woolen  stockings,  with  brilliant  handkerchiefs  wound 
about  their  heads  for  turbans.  The  peasant  women 
dress  in  homespun  and  do  much  of  the  labor.  The 
country  houses  are  chiefly  small,  low  cottages,  built 
of  stone,  which  is  plenty,  and  having  roofs  of  sun- 
baked mud.  The  fire  is  made  on  a  little  hearth,  a 
hole  in  the  roof  letting  out  the  smoke.  Once  in  a 
while  a  better  house  has  a  chimney.  Like  the  an- 
cient Grecian  heroes,  the  people  sleep  on  platforms 
raised  above  the  floor,  and  piled  with  goatskins,  sheep- 
skins and  rugs,  there  being  no  beds.  They  congre- 
gate in  little  villages,  there  being  few  isolated  farm 
houses,  and  from  these  they  go  out  in  the  morning  to 
cultivate  their  little  farms,  generally  but  three  or 
four  acres  in  size,  and  worked  in  the  same  way  now 
as  they  were  two  thousand  years  ago. 

The  Greek  country-folk  wear  picturesque  costumes 


OLYMPIA  25 

when  in  gala  attire.  Much  of  this  clothing  is  home- 
made, the  hand-loom  and  spinning-wheel  being  found 
in  most  of  the  little  cottages,  where  the  women  make 
the  fabrics.  The  men  dress  in  short  but  very  full 
skirts,  often  taking  twenty  to  thirty  yards  of  cotton 
cloth,  and  also  wear  a  blue  or  red  jacket,  ornamented 
with  gold  or  silver  embroidery.  There  is  a  broad 
leathern  belt  to  carry  a  pistol  or  knife,  and  the  feet 
are  covered  often  by  red  shoes,  having  large  black 
tassels.  A  jaunty  red  cap  with  a  long,  blue  tassel 
adorns  the  head,  the  tassel  sweeping  to  the  shoulder. 
The  women  frequently  wear  blue  skirts,  black  waists, 
veils  and  Turkish  slippers,  and  have  profuse  silver 
ornaments,  many  of  them  very  beautiful.  In  the 
colder  weather  they  wear  heavily  embroidered  gar- 
ments with  fur  borders,  having  red  sashes  and  veils. 
The  silver  ornaments  are  conspicuous,  adorning  the 
head,  arms  and  neck,  and  there  are  often  seen  valu- 
able strings  of  antique  coins  used  as  necklaces,  amu- 
lets, and  in  similar  ways.  All  are  fond  of  flowers, 
and  they  devote  much  attention  to  this  attractive  cul- 
tivation. 

OLYMPIA. 

The  river  Alpheios  flows,  in  winding  course,  west- 
ward from  the  Arcadian  mountains  to  the  sea,  and 
upon  the  plain,  on  its  northern  bank,  is  Olympia,  the 
great  shrine  of  ancient  Greece.  It  never  was  a  town, 
as  it  contained  few  dwellings,  but  was  regarded  as  a 


26  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

sacred  locality,  with  temples  and  public  buildings, 
its  importance  coming  from  its  shrines  and  the  fa- 
mous athletic  games,  instituted  in  honor  of  Zeus,  and 
celebrated  for  over  a  thousand  years  by  the  Greeks 
of  all  tribes  and  states.  Whatever  might  have  been 
the  internecine  warfare  going  on,  a  period  of  truce 
was  established  when  the  time  came  that  was  set  for 
the  games,  in  which  all  true  Greeks  participated. 
The  origin  of  these  Olympian  games  is  lost  in  the 
mystery  of  the  past,  but  they  are  said  to  have  been 
reorganized  in  the  ninth  century  B.  C.  by  Iphitos  of 
Elis  and  Lycurgus  of  Sparta,  in  obedience  to  the 
oracle  at  Delphi,  and  these  leaders  introduced  the 
truce,  known  as  the  Ekecheiria,  or  the  "  Peace  of 
God,"  during  the  celebration  of  the  games,  making 
them  a  national  festival.  The  chronicle  of  the  regu- 
lar victors  in  the  games  begins  776  B.  C.  with  the 
triumph  of  Koroabos,  and  from  this  date  the 
Olympiads,  in  chronological  periods  of  four  years 
each,  were  reckoned.  The  games  were  celebrated 
at  the  first  full  moon  after  the  summer  solstice,  and 
Olympia  being  in  Elis,  that  people,  at  the  opening 
of  the  sacred  month,  sent  heralds  throughout  Greece 
to  announce  the  games  and  proclaim  the  truce. 
Then  came  in  the  deputations  from  the  various  states, 
escorting  their  champions,  some  being  represented 
by  embassies  with  elaborate  display.  The  celebration 
continued  during  five  days,  and  included  all  kinds 
of  athletics,  wrestling,  boxing,  hurling  the  discus, 


OLYMPIA  27 

foot-races,  chariot-races,  and  similar  contests,  the 
culminating  feature  being  a  series  of  sacrifices  to 
Zeus  and  the  other  gods,  directed  by  the  priests. 
The  foot-race  in  the  Stadium  was  the  earliest  com- 
petition, and  -was  regarded  as  the  most  important. 
Subsequently,  in  the  eighteenth  Olympiad,  the 
Pentathlon,  a  five-field  contest,  was  introduced,  be- 
ing a  combination  of  leaping,  hurling  the  discus, 
running,  wrestling  and  boxing,  arranged  so  that  only 
the  victors  in  the  first  contest  competed  in  the  later 
ones,  the  final  bout  being  boxing  between  the  best 
two  champions.  The  first  chariot  race  with  four 
horses  came  in  the  twenty-fifth  Olympiad,  the  first 
horse  race  in  the  thirty-third  Olympiad,  and  the 
Hoplitodromos,  or  "  soldiers'  race,"  in  heavy  march- 
ing order,  was  introduced  in  the  sixty-fifth  Olympiad, 
B.  C.  520. 

Free-born  Greeks  of  unstained  character  only 
could  be  competitors,  and  they  had  to  undergo  ten 
months  of  preliminary  training.  Immediately  after 
the  final  contest  the  palm  was  handed  the  victor,  and 
at  the  end  of  the  games  prizes  were  given  all  the 
victors  in  all  the  games  being  branches  from  the 
sacred  olive  tree  planted  by  Hercules.  The  great- 
est value  was  given  the  Olympian  olive  branch  by  the 
Greeks,  its  acquisition  not  only  being  a  distinction 
for  the  winners,  but  giving  the  highest  honor  to  their 
families  and  states.  The  champions  dwelt  in 
Olympia  at  the  public  expense,  and  could  erect  a 


28  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

statue,  which  in  case  of  a  triple  victory  could  bear 
the  victor's  features.  Votive  offerings  were  also  al- 
lowed, and  in  course  of  time  there  thus  were  col- 
lected in  the  Altis  a  forest  of  statues,  which  later  was 
repeatedly  plundered  by  the  Romans.  J^ot  only 
athletes,  but  also  intellectual  giants,  appeared  at  these 
games.  Here  Herodotus  read  part  of  his  history, 
orators  declaimed,  and  painters  exhibited  their  art. 
Themistocles,  after  Salamis,  received  his  greatest 
triumph  in  the  Stadium,  and  Plato  later  was  given 
high  honors.  The  zenith  of  the  games  was  after 
the  Persian  wars,  as  the  Hellenic  influence  had  then 
extended,  but  after  the  Roman  domination  they  de- 
clined, too  many  professionals  got  control,  the  cele- 
bration lost  popular  interest,  and  the  Emperor  Theo- 
dosius  terminated  them  A.  D.  394. 

In  the  decadent  period,  to  protect  themselves 
against  barbarian  invasions,  the  people,  at  the  close 
of  the  fourth  century,  converted  the  neighborhood 
of  the  temple  of  Zeus  into  a  fortress,  taking  the  ma- 
terials from  the  surrounding  buildings.  Then  a 
couple  of  earthquakes,  in  the  sixth  century,  threw 
down  the  temple,  landslips  came,  and,  ultimately,  in- 
undations of  the  Alpheios  covered  everything  ten 
to  fifteen  feet  deep  in  sand.  Thus  the  region  slum- 
bered throughout  the  dark  ages,  but  in  the  nineteenth 
century  its  reclamation  was  undertaken.  Under 
German  auspices,  beginning  in  1875,  excavations 
were  made,  freeing  the  entire  surface  of  the  superin- 


OLYMPIA  29 

eumbent  sand,  and  gathering  most  of  the  art  objects 
in  the  museum,  an  ornate  building  adjoining  the  re- 
stored site.  To  the  northwest  rises  the  Kronos  Hill, 
which  is  elevated  over  four  hundred  feet,  giving  an 
excellent  outlook  over  the  partially  restored  Olympia. 
When  the  work  of  excavation  had  attracted  general 
attention,  a  movement  began  to  revive  the  Olympian 
games.  This  was  warmly  supported,  but  it  was 
found  impossible  to  re-establish  them  at  Olympia. 
The  view  from  the  Kronos  Hill  over  the  ruins  of 
temples  and  altars,  disclosing  the  spacious  Altis, 
where  the  sacred  buildings  stood,  with  the  almost  en- 
tirely uncovered  Stadium  to  the  left,  showed  how 
impossible  it  was  to  revive  the  games  on  the  old  site, 
where  there  were  neither  buildings  nor  accommoda- 
tions for  visitors.  There  is  no  town  to  provide  for 
them,  and  the  Stadium,  excepting  the  laying  bare  of 
the  starting  and  goal  posts,  is  still  buried  under  the 
sands  of  fifteen  centuries.  So  the  revival  was  made 
at  Athens  in  1896,  and  the  scope  enlarged  to  a  com- 
petition in  which  all  nations  could  participate.  In 
1906,  when  the  games  were  again  held  at  Athens, 
most  of  the  prizes  were  carried  off  by  enterprising 
Anglo-Saxons. 

The  Olympian  Altis,  or  "  sacred  walled  precinct," 
which  has  been  excavated,  is  about  570  by  750  feet, 
and  spreads  at  the  foot  of  the  Kronos  Hill.  Here 
were  all  the  famous  buildings,  the  Temples  of  Zeus, 
Hera,  Metroon  (the  mother  of  the  gods),  Pelops,  and 


30  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

others ;  the  Prytaneion,  where  the  victors  were  enter- 
tained ;  their  statues,  and  many  votive  offerings. 
The  Temple  of  Zeus  was  in  the  centre,  built  in  the 
fifth  century  B.  C.,  surrounded  by  a  Doric  colonnade 
of  thirty-eight  columns,  and  constructed  on  an  artifi- 
cial mound.  Within  it  stood  the  famous  statue  of 
Zeus,  carved  by  Phidias,  a  colossal  work  forty  feet 
high,  and  standing  on  a  huge  limestone  pedestal, 
which  seemed  almost  too  large  for  the  temple,  and 
which  won  for  Phidias  the  distinction  of  being  a  work 
"  with  which  no  other  artist  can  compete."  The 
god,  carved  in  gold  and  ivory,  sat  upon  a  throne, 
holding  in  his  right  hand  a  figure  of  victory,  and  in 
his  left  the  sceptre,  crowned  by  an  eagle.  Everything 
was  covered  with  mythological  reliefs,  and  the  ma- 
jestic face  and  head  crowned  by  a  golden  wreath  of 
olive,  below  which  the  hair  fell  in  luxuriant  tresses. 
This  statue  has  entirely  disappeared,  but  there  are 
remains  of  the  pedestal,  which  is  partly  restored. 
The  statue  was  usually  covered  by  a  curtain,  only 
withdrawn  on  solemn  occasions.  When  Pausanias 
saw  it  in  the  second  century  B.  C.,  the  curtain  was 
embroidered  in  purple  wool,  and  was  the  gift  of 
Antiochos  IV  of  Syria.  There  then  stood  near  by 
a  water  vessel  on  a  marble  stand,  marking  the  spot 
struck  by  the  thunderbolt  with  which  Zeus  announced 
to  Phidias  his  satisfaction  with  the  work.  To  the 
northward  of  the  temple,  was  the  elliptical  altar  of 
Zeus,  the  centre  of  the  Greek  paganism.  Its  site  has 


OLYMPIA  31 

been  partially  exhumed,  and  around  it  were  found 
traces  of  other  smaller  altars,  with  the  remains  of 
sacrificial  bones  and  ashes. 

Near  the  foot  of  the  hill  was  the  Temple  of  Hera, 
the  oldest  in  Olympia,  and  said  to  be  the  most  ancient 
in  Greece,  originating  the  Doric  colonnade,  the  earli- 
est columns  being  of  wood,  of  which  one  remained 
at  Pausanias'  visit.  Forty-four  columns  surround 
this  ancient  structure,  and  remains  of  most  of  them 
have  been  found.  We  are  told  that  the  Greeks 
adopted  fluting  on  their  columns,  to  make  a  more 
perfect  finish.  They  claimed  that  a  smooth  column 
melted  in  the  light,  making  its  lines  uncertain,  and 
in  order  to  restore  sharpness  of  view,  they  conceived 
the  idea  of  the  fluted  ridges,  catching  the  light,  in 
contrast  with  the  darker  hollow  spaces  between. 
Similarly  they  cut  deep  lines  at  the  junction  of  the 
capital  with  the  top  of  the  column.  Thus  they 
made  impressive  the  vertical  outlines  of  their  build- 
ings and  the  beauty  of  the  columns.  To  the  east- 
ward of  the  Temple  of  Hera  was  the  smaller  Temple 
of  the  Metroon,  and  behind  it,  on  a  terrace  at  the 
base  of  the  hill,  a  row  of  treasuries,  which  preserved 
various  votive  offerings  given  by  states  and  cities. 
Westward  of  the  Altis  flows  the  river  Kladeos,  beyond 
which  rises  the  hill  of  Drouva,  over  500  feet,  having 
at  its  base  the  museum,  wherein  are  gathered  the  an- 
tiquities found  in  the  excavations.  From  the  sur- 
mounting village  of  Drouva  a  view  is  had  over  the 


32  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Olympian  remains,  while  behind  it  the  brow  of  the 
hill  gives  a  charming  outlook,  displaying  the  valleys 
of  the  Kladeos  and  Alpheios,  far  westward  to  the 
sea,  with  the  distant  Zante  Island  beyond. 

A  short  distance  southwestward  from  Olympia 
are  the  remains  of  the  village  of  Skillous,  which,  in 
394  B.  C.,  the  Spartans  presented  to  Xenophon,  when 
banished  from  Athens,  in  gratitude  for  his  services 
in  the  famous  "  retreat  of  the  ten  thousand,"  B.  C. 
401.  Here  was  brought  his  share  of  the  spoil  cap- 
tured in  that  campaign,  and  the  people  point  out  a 
venerable  tomb  said  to  be  his.  Xenophon  died  about 
354  B.  C.  Farther  south  on  the  coast  is  indented  the 
deep  Bay  of  Pylos,  its  entrance  sheltered  by  the 
elongated  rocky  island  of  Sphakteria,  and  having  a 
splendid  mountain  amphitheatre  to  the  eastward, 
the  ancient  .^Egaleon.  Pylos  was  the  Navarino  of 
the  middle  ages,  but  since  the  Grecian  independence 
it  has  resumed  the  original  name.  Recent  excava- 
tions near  Pylos  have  uncovered  remains  of  a 
vaulted  building  said  to  have  been  the  palace  of  the 
Homeric  king  ISTestor.  It  contained  golden  orna- 
ments and  other  relics.  For  more  than  three  cen- 
turies Pylos  was  held  by  the  Turks  nearly  all  the 
time,  until  1821,  when  the  Greeks  captured  it,  but 
were  driven  out  by  Ibrahim  Pasha  in  1825,  who 
devastated  the  neighborhood.  Navarino  is  famous 
as  being  the  scene  of  the  last  struggle  of  the  Greeks 
for  independence.  The  British  and  their  allies,  in 


SPARTA  AND  ARGOLIS  33 

October,  1827,  had  demanded  the  Turks'  evacuation 
of  the  Morea,  and,  upon  refusal,  Admiral  Codring- 
ton,  on  October  27,  entered  the  harbor  with  twenty-six 
warships,  and  in  a  conflict,  continuing  about  two 
hours,  destroyed  the  greater  part  of  the  Turkish  fleet, 
sinking  fifty-three  ships  and  capturing  twenty-nine. 
The  Turks  lost  six  thousand  men,  and  by  this  defeat 
the  Grecian  independence  was  won.  The  Grecian 
government,  in  1906,  began  efforts  to  raise  some  of 
these  ships,  for  the  recovery  of  the  treasure  believed 
to  be  aboard.  The  southern  extremities  of  the  Morea 
are  three  protruding  peninsulas,  the  central  and  long- 
est one  being  the  Mani,  terminating  in  the  ancient 
Tsenaron,  a  rocky  ridge  which  stretches  into  the  sea, 
surmounted  by  a  lighthouse,  and  now  known  as  Cape 
Matapan,  which,  next  to  Cape  Tarifa,  in  Spain,  is  the 
most  southern  point  of  Europe. 

SPAKTA    AND    AEGOLIS. 

The  elongated  Mani  peninsula,  terminating  the 
Morea,  has  on  either  hand  a  deeply  indented  bay,  the 
Messenian  Gulf  to  the  westward  and  the  Lakonian 
Gulf  on  the  east.  Each  is  thrust  far  up  into  the 
land,  continuing  as  an  intervale  between  the  high 
mountain  ridges  of  the  Morea,  and  each  also  has  a 
river  seeking  the  sea.  The  ridgy  backbone  of  the 
peninsula  rises,  between  these  intervales,  into  the 
long  Taygetos  mountain,  culminating  in  the  peak  of 

St.  Elias,  elevated  7,900  feet,  and  surmounted  by  a 
VOL.  II— 3 


34  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

chapel.  Along  the  eastern  intervale  flows  the  classic 
Eurotas,  now  known  as  the  Iri,  down  to  the  Lako- 
nian  Gulf,  where  its  mouth  is  in  a  broad  marsh.  Up 
this  famous  river,  to  the  northeast  of  St.  Elias,  at 
the  junction  of  its  tributary  stream,  the  Knakion, 
was  the  site  of  one  of  the  most  renowned  cities  of  an- 
cient Greece,  Sparta.  To-day  there  are  but  scant 
relics  of  the  famous  place,  and  the  modern  village  of 
Sparta,  not  yet  a  century  old,  occupies  the  southern 
part  of  the  older  site.  The  classic  Eurotas  is  a  shal- 
low stream,  and  flows  merrily  by,  its  current  provid- 
ing water  power  for  a  number  of  mills,  and  becoming 
a  raging  torrent  when  swollen  in  the  rainy  season. 
Ancient  Sparta  was  about  six  miles  in  circumference, 
a  collection  of  five  villages,  and  there  are  various  re- 
mains of  broken  columns  and  decayed  walls  and 
towers  scattered  over  an  extensive  surface.  This 
noted  city,  in  the  olden  time,  held  the  dominant 
power  over  the  Morea,  and  was  the  capital  of  the 
powerful  Lacedaemonian  race.  It  is  about  twenty 
miles  north  of  the  sea,  in  a  fertile  and  beautiful 
valley,  enclosed  all  about  by  the  mountain  ramparts, 
which  were  the  defensive  walls  of  Sparta. 

In  the  dim  traditions  of  the  past  the  Leleges  were 
the  earliest  inhabitants  of  the  region,  Lelex  being  the 
first  king.  The  beautiful  Princess  Sparta  was  his 
granddaughter,  and  Lacedsemon,  the  son  of  Jupiter 
and  Taygete  (whose  name  was  given  the  mountain 
ridge),  came  along  and  wooed  and  won  her.  He 


SPARTA  AND  ARGOLIS  35 

gave  his  own  name  to  the  people  and  the  country,  and 
her  name  to  the  city  which  he  founded  as  its  capital. 
In  the  mythical  times  Menelaus  reigned  at  Sparta 
and  married  Helen,  with  the  resultant  Trojan  war. 
The  first  event  in  actual  history  at  Sparta  seems  to 
have  been  the  record  of  the  establishment  of  the  code 
of  Lycurgus,  about  825  B.  C.  This  system  made  the 
Spartans  all  warriors,  the  individual  being  regarded 
as  existing  exclusively  for  the  state,  to  which  he  de- 
voted his  time,  energies  and  property.  From  his 
birth  the  child  was  under  public  control  and  trained 
for  warlike  exercises,  being  taken  at  seven  years  of 
age  and  educated  in  public  classes,  by  the  severest 
training,  to  habits  of  dexterity,  subordination,  and  a 
terseness  of  speech  which  became  known  as  "  la- 
conic." From  thirty  to  sixty  years  of  age  he  was 
subject  to  military  service.  Under  this  Lycurgan 
system  Sparta  had  a  great  career  of  conquest  and 
became  the  first  state  in  Greece.  But  the  Romans 
ultimately  got  control,  building  the  later  walls  to 
repel  Gothic  raids,  for  by  the  close  of  the  fourth  cen- 
tury of  our  era  Alaric  and  the  Goths  had  laid  waste 
the  country.  It  was  then  held  in  rotation  by  Slavs, 
Byzantians,  Franks,  Venetians  and  Turks,  until  the 
establishment  of  Grecian  independence. 

Sparta  has  not  much  to  show  now.  The  alleged 
"  Tomb  of  Leonidas  "  is  the  chief  ruin,  a  base  of  a 
monument  measuring  about  twenty-five  by  fifty  feet, 
being  a  few  courses  of  large  squared  blocks.  But 


36  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Leonidas  was  not  buried  here,  his  grave  being  shown 
in  another  part  of  the  town.  There  are  other  re- 
mains, on  the  hills  to  the  west  and  north,  which  have 
been  disclosed  by  excavations,  but  none  of  these  rep- 
resent ancient  fortifications.  The  city  had  no  walled 
defences  until  near  the  Christian  era,  for  its  ancient 
defences  were  really  made  at  the  mountain  passes 
entering  the  valley,  and  depended  upon  the  personal 
bravery  of  the  people.  It  was  not  surrounded  by  a 
wall  until  about  192  B.  C.  There  were  some  thirty 
thousand  inhabitants  at  the  time  of  its  greatest  glory. 
The  Acropolis  was  the  hill  to  the  westward,  where 
was  the  theatre,  which  is  partially  exhumed,  but  all 
the  other  buildings  once  there  have  disappeared. 
The  Grecian  government  has  gathered  most  of  the  re- 
covered antiquities  in  a  handsome  museum,  which 
adorns  the  modern  town.  To  the  southeast,  on  a  hill 
beyond  the  Eurotas,  is  ancient  Therapne,  where  was 
the  Menelaion,  a  sanctuary  where  the  people  wor- 
shipped Menelaus  and  Helen  as  divine,  imploring 
them  for  the  gifts  of  strength  and  beauty.  Recent 
excavations  here  have  uncovered  a  rectangular  ter- 
raced structure,  but  no  temple,  though  numerous 
votive  offerings  were  found.  To  the  westward,  on 
the  edge  of  Mount  Taygetos,  is  the  Frankish  town  of 
Mistra,  the  construction  of  which  required  the  taking 
from  old  Sparta  of  a  large  amount  of  building  ma- 
terials, and  on  a  mountain  spur  above  it,  elevated 
about  2,100  feet,  is  its  guardian  castle  of  Misithras, 


SPARTA  AND  ARGOLIS  37 

the  ivy-clad  ruins  dating  from  the  thirteenth  century. 
In  Mistra  are  elaborate  remains  of  churches  and  con- 
vents of  the  Byzantine  era,  with  later  constructions 
by  the  Turks.  From  the  heights  is  given  a  beauti- 
ful view  over  the  far-spreading  Eurotas  intervale. 

Upon  the  Eurotas  river  bank,  in  the  spring  of 
1906,  the  excavators  for  the  British  School  of 
Archaeology,  at  Athens,  working  under  direction  of 
Mr.  R.  M.  Dawkins,  discovered  the  temple  of 
Artemis.  The  original  "  find  "  was  due  to  a  school- 
boy, who  picked  up  some  leaden  statuettes,  and  the 
extensive  excavations  made  afterward  disclosed  the 
altar  and  a  profusion  of  relics,  including  leaden 
statuettes,  and  gold,  silver,  bronze  and  ivory  orna- 
ments, terra  cotta  and  pottery.  The  worship  of 
Artemis  Orthia  descended  from  prehistoric  times,  at 
Sparta,  being  associated  with  cruel  and  savage  rites, 
the  scourging  matches  taking  place  before  the  altar 
of  the  goddess  constituting  the  most  severe  and  yet 
honored  ordeals  of  the  Spartan  youth.  Cicero, 
Pausanias,  and  Plutarch  witnessed  them,  and  Plu- 
tarch records  that  he  had  seen  several  persons  die 
from  the  sufferings  entailed.  The  1906  excavations 
disclosed  an  altar  of  the  goddess,  with  the  remains 
of  a  temple  of  the  sixth  century  B.  C.  There  were 
also  found  superposed  the  remains  of  a  later  Greek 
altar  and  an  altar  of  the  Roman  period ;  also  masses 
of  charcoal  and  the  debris  of  sacrifices.  In  1907 
the  archaeologists  dug  deeper,  through  several  feet  of 


38  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

sand,  and  found  below  a  copious  deposit  of  votive 
offerings  brought  to  the  goddess  and  a  still  earlier 
altar  of  large  size,  held  to  be  of  the  eighth  century 
B.  C.  The  diggings  continued,  and  in  May,  1908, 
they  brought  to  light  a  temple  of  the  eighth  or 
ninth  century  B.  C.,  smaller  than  those  above, 
a  shrine  constructed  to  contain  a  primitive  wooden 
image  of  the  goddess,  roofed  with  painted  tiles 
and  built  with  unbaked  bricks,  set  in  a  framework 
of  wooden  beams,  all  resting  on  a  stonework 
foundation,  this  alone  being  preserved,  though 
buried  under  debris  and  bricks.  A  paved  area  of 
cobble-stones  separates  it  from  the  altar  discovered 
in  1907.  This  is  believed  to  be  the  oldest  Greek 
temple  yet  brought  to  light,  a  primitive  Dorian 
sanctuary.  The  ivory,  bronze  and  other  votive  offer- 
ings, found  with  it  in  great  profusion,  add  to  the  evi- 
dence given  that  they  were  carried  thither  by  a  mi- 
grating race ;  so  that  there  is  much  speculation  among 
the  archaeologists  as  to  the  light  they  shed  on  the 
Dorian  migration.  The  advent  of  these  people  into 
the  Peloponnesus  was  mythically  known  to  the  an- 
cients as  the  "  Return  of  the  Heraclidse,"  and  it 
is  urged,  from  the  character  of  the  objects  found 
here,  that  they  were  aliens  who  made  their  way  into 
Greece  from  the  north  of  the  Balkan  peninsula.  The 
jewelry,  ornaments,  bronzes  and  pottery  found  re- 
produce relics  of  the  Iron  Age  elsewhere  on  the  con- 
tinent of  Europe.  Thus  it  is  inferred  that  the 


SPARTA  AND  ARCOLIS  39 

savage  rites  of  Artemis  Orthia  were  brought  into 
Sparta,  together  with  the  original  image  of  the  god- 
dess here  enshrined,  by  a  race  coming  from  some 
other  part  of  Europe. 

These  industrious  excavators  also  found  in  1907, 
north  of  the  modern  town,  and  on  the  western  spur 
of  the  Acropolis  Hill,  the  remains  of  the  Hieron  of 
Athena  Chalcioseus,  or  the  "  Brazen  House,"  the 
name  being  derived  from  the  bronze  plates  adorning 
the  shrine  of  the  goddess.  Remnants  of  these  plates 
were  found,  and  also  numerous  bronze  nails,  by 
which  they  had  been  fastened.  This  shrine  was  for 
a  long  period  the  most  celebrated  sanctuary  in 
Sparta,  being  an  inviolate  asylum.  It  was  here  that 
Pausanias,  the  Platsean  victor,  took  refuge  when 
his  traitorous  correspondence  with  the  invading 
Persians  had  been  discovered.  The  incensed  Greeks 
knew  they  could  not  subject  him  to  violence,  but 
they  built  up  the  door,  his  mother  laying  the  first 
stone,  and  then  they  took  off  the  roof.  Thus  he 
perished  of  cold  and  hunger,  but  to  prevent  pollut- 
ing the  shrine,  he  was  removed  just  before  dying. 
Here  came  Aristomenes,  the  leader  of  the  revolted 
Messenians,  when  he  had  penetrated  into  the  city  in 
the  night,  and  hung  up  his  shield  with  an  inscrip- 
tion of  defiance.  Stamped  tiles  bearing  the  name 
of  the  goddess  and  her  bronze  statuette  have  also 
been  found.  Just  below  this  the  great  theatre  of 
Sparta  is  partially  hollowed  out  of  the  hillside. 


40  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Following  up  the  oleander-grown  valley  of  the 
noted  river  Eurotas,  we  start  northward,  and  grad- 
ually mount  the  ridge  on  its  eastern  side  into  the 
Pass  of  Sellasia,  .where  the  Macedonians  defeated 
the  Spartans,  221  B.  C.,  and  compelled  them  to  join 
the  Achaean  League.  Crossing  the  watershed,  the 
route  passes  through  ancient  Tegea,  famous  as  the 
foe  and  then  as  the  ally  of  the  Spartans,  to  the 
comparatively  modern  city  of  Tripolis  on  the  plain 
of  Arcadia.  This  place  was  founded  by  the  Turks 
at  the  beginning  of  their  control,  and  was  their 
capital  of  the  Morea  and  the  residence  of  the  pasha. 
Its  name  comes  from  the  fact  that  it  is  built  upon 
the  domains  of  three  ancient  cities,  Tegea,  Pal- 
lantian  and  Mantinea.  It  is  the  central  market 
town  of  the  Arcadian  plain,  and  in  the  suburbs  are 
the  partially  excavated  remains  of  the  ancient  cities, 
which  are  interesting  mines  of  archaeology.  It  was 
at  Mantinea  the  battle  was  fought,  in  July,  362 
B.  C.,  in  which  the  Thebans  and  their  allies  defeated 
the  Spartans,  the  victory  being  dearly  bought  by  the 
death  of  the  Theban  general  Epaminondas,  after 
which  the  Theban  power  waned. 

From  Tripolis  the  mountain  ridge  to  the  east- 
ward of  the  Arcadian  plain  is  crossed  to  the  deeply 
indented  Gulf  of  Argolis  and  the  broad  Argolis 
plain,  through  which  the  Panitza,  which  was  the 
ancient  Inachos,  flows  from  the  northward.  This 
noted  river,  of  both  ancient  and  modern  fame,  is 


The  Argive  Plain. 


SPARTA  AND  ARGOLIS  41 

a  small  affair,  usually  a  deep  bed  through  which 
the  waters  make  their  way  to  the  sea  only  when 
swollen  by  freshets.  The  Argolis  plain  was  the 
land  of  the  Argives,  and  the  name  of  the  town  was 
the  name  of  the  plain,  whence  went  forth  Agamem- 
non, at  the  head  of  the  Greeks,  to  the  siege  of  Troy. 
The  place  is  now  an  aggregation  of  low  houses, 
mostly  with  red  roofs,  having  the  Larisa,  or  Acrop- 
olis, rising  nearly  a  thousand  feet  above  its  western 
verge  and  surmounted  by  an  old-time  citadel.  The 
origin  of  this  famous  Grecian  city  is  mythical,  and 
is  attributed  to  the  goddess  Hera,  who  won  the 
plain  in  a  contest  with  Poseidon.  Then  came  the 
Danaos,  and  afterward  the  Dorians,  who  made  Argos 
powerful,  the  king  Pheidon  extending  its  power  over 
the  Peloponnesus,  and  defeating  the  Spartans,  669 
B.  C.,  but  ultimately  Sparta  triumphed.  Unlike  so 
many  of  these  very  ancient  Grecian  cities,  Argos 
has  always  been  inhabited,  and  to-day  has  about  ten 
thousand  people.  Its  present  buildings  are  chiefly 
Byzantine  and  Turkish,  these  and  the  Franks  having 
built  the  citadel.  From  this  crowning  elevation  there 
is  a  grand  outlook  over  the  surrounding  mountains 
and  plain,  the  latter  extending  broadly  southward 
toward  the  gulf  and  having  in  full  view  the  distant 
relics  of  Tiryns  and  Nauplia  down  by  the  sea. 

About  five  miles  away  are  the  noted  Cyclopean 
remains  of  the  ancient  city,  which  Homer  describes 
as  "  Wall-girt  Tiryns  "  and  Pausanias  said  was  as 


42  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

wonderful  as  the  Egyptian  pyramids.  It  is  a  low, 
rocky  eminence,  nearly  a  thousand  feet  long  and 
about  one-third  as  wide,  rising  in  the  highest  part 
not  over  sixty  feet  above  the  plain.  Surrounding  it 
is  a  wall  of  huge  blocks,  that  was  originally  sixty- 
five  feet  high  and  twenty-five  feet  thick.  This  wall 
enclosed  the  castle  and  outbuildings  of  the  owner. 
The  origin  is  mythical.  We  are  told  that  Pro3tos, 
brother  of  King  Akrisios  of  Argos,  invited  the 
Cyclops  from  Asia  Minor  to  build  the  walls,  and 
subsequently  Perseus,  that  king's  grandson,  became 
the  ruler  and  occupied  the  castle.  Alkmene  was  the 
granddaughter  of  Perseus,  and  the  legend  makes 
Tiryns  the  birthplace  of  Hercules,  who  was  the 
son  of  Zeus  and  Alkmene.  The  jealous  Argives 
destroyed  Tiryns,  B.  C.  483,  carrying  off  the  in- 
habitants to  add  to  the  population  of  Argos,  and 
then  threw  down  the  walls,  the  massive  blocks  having 
since  lain  about  in  confusion.  Dr.  Schliemann,  in 
1884—85,  made  extensive  excavations  of  the  castle, 
and  thus  brought  into  view  the  remains  of  a  structure 
believed  to  belong  to  the  Homeric  epoch,  with  towers 
and  gateways,  and  spacious  courts  surrounded  by 
dwelling  apartments.  This  remarkable  place  has  a 
history  that  is  almost  entirely  mythical. 

Down  by  the  sea,  about  three  miles  off,  projects 
a  bold  rock  known  as  Itsh-Kaleh,  which  was  joined 
to  the  higher  fastness  of  Palamidi  on  the  shore,  and 
between  them,  and  around  their  bases,  is  the  port  of 


Gallery  at  Tiryns. 


SPARTA  AND  ARGOLIS  43 

Argolis,  Nauplia.  Tradition  says  there  came  here  in 
the  dim  past  Nauplies,  the  "  seaman,"  and  his  sons, 
Nausimedon,  the  "  shipmaster,"  and  CEax,  the 
"  steersman,"  who  founded  the  settlement.  With 
them  was  Palamedes,  who  first  used  masts  and  sails 
and  was  said  to  have  established  the  first  lighthouse. 
The  place  gradually  became  the  haven  of  the 
Argolis  plain,  but  Argos  ultimately  captured  and 
controlled  it.  The  port  fell  into  decay  for  several 
centuries,  until  the  Franks  and  Venetians  came,  fol- 
lowed by  the  Turks,  and  these  races  built  the  im- 
pregnable fortress  on  the  towering  Palamidi,  making 
Nauplia  the  most  strongly  fortified  maritime  city 
of  Hellas.  The  Greeks  captured  it  from  the  Turks, 
by  a  surprise,  in  November,  1822,  and  it  became  the 
first  capital  of  the  independent  Grecian  republic, 
whose  president,  John  Kapodistrias,  was  assas- 
sinated in  October,  1831,  as  he  was  entering  the 
Church  of  St.  Spiridion.  In  1834,  after  the  creation 
of  the  Grecian  kingdom,  the  capital  was  transferred 
to  Athens.  The  rock  of  Itsh-Kaleh  was  the  ancient 
Acropolis,  and  displays  relics  of  the  old  time  walls, 
steps  and  other  constructions.  Palamidi,  elevated 
700  feet,  has  a  long  staircase  leading  up  to  its  top, 
constructed  by  the  Venetians,  and  the  old  buildings 
are  now  used  as  a  prison,  being  given  the  names  of 
classic  Greeks,  such  as  Epaminondas,  Leonidas  and 
Achilles.  There  is  an  admirable  outlook  from  the 
summit  over  the  Argive  plain  and  the  sea. 


44  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

To  the  eastward  of  Argos  is  the  Midea  fortress,  on 
an  elevation,  its  Cyclopean  walls  being  attributed  to 
Perseus.  On  the  foothills  of  Mount  Euboea  was 
the  Herseon,  the  sanctuary  of  Argolis,  its  buildings 
occupying  various  terraces,  having  its  walls  on 
the  highest  terrace  supporting  the  temple,  of  which 
there  are  now  but  scant  remains.  Below  it  are  the 
ruins  of  two  colonnades.  The  original  temple  was 
burnt  B.  C.  423,  and  was  succeeded  by  an  elaborate 
Doric  structure,  surrounded  by  thirty-six  columns 
and  approached  on  the  eastern  side  by  a  colonnade. 
There  are  remains  of  other  structures,  and  most  of 
these  ruins  were  disclosed  by  excavations  of  the 
American  School  at  Athens,  in  the  later  nineteenth 
century.  The  legend  tells  us  that  here  the  Greek 
heroes  swore  allegiances  to  Agamemnon  when  the 
expedition  started  for  the  siege  of  Troy.  It  was 
the  Temple  of  Hera,  and  within  was  her  image, 
brought  from  Tiryns,  and  also  a  statue  of  the  god- 
dess. The  sculptures  that  have  been  found  rep- 
resent the  birth  of  Zeus  and  the  victory  at  Troy. 
It  was  here  that  Kleobis  and  Biton  brought  their 
mother,  a  priestess  of  Hera,  from  Argos  to  the 
temple,  in  a  hurry,  they  taking  the  places  of  the 
tardy  horses  in  her  chariot,  and,  overcome  by  the 
exertion,  they  laid  down  for  an  eternal  sleep. 

A  little  farther  northward,  in  a  glen  between  two 
mountains,  and,  as  Homer  said,  "  in  the  innermost 
corner  of  Argos,"  is  the  famous  city  founded  by 


SPARTA  AND  ARGOLIS  45 

Perseus,  Mycense.  He  brought  the  Cyclops  also 
here  to  raise  its  massive  walls,  and  Dr.  Schliemann 
and  his  successors  directed  the  excavations  that 
disclosed  these  ruins  to  the  world.  At  Mycenae 
subsequently  ruled  the  princes  of  the  house  of 
Pelops,  where  his  sons  Atreus  and  Thyestes  quar- 
relled, and  Agamemnon,  the  son  ,of  Atreus,  had  a 
house  which  Homer  calls  "  well  built  "  and  "  abound- 
ing in  gold."  When  the  hero  returned  from  Troy 
he  was  murdered  here.  The  place  had  great  renown 
in  the  mythical  times,  but  it  was  decaying  when 
history  began.  Some  of  its  warriors  fell  at 
Thermopylae.  It  was  destroyed  at  the  same  time  as 
Tiryns,  and  its  treasures  taken  to  Argos  in  the 
fifth  century  B.  C.  Since  then  the  ruins  have  re- 
mained practically  as  now.  To  the  town  a  festal 
road  led  from  the  Hera3on,  and  its  termination  is 
shown  by  the  ruins  of  a  bridge  in  a  ravine.  There 
are  the  usual  Acropolis,  and  also  a  lower  city,  of 
which  the  chief  remains  are  subterranean  chambers. 
The  principal  one  is  known  as  the  Treasury  of 
Atreus,  or  Tomb  of  Agamemnon,  an  apartment 
fifty  feet  high  and  of  about  the  same  diameter, 
constructed  like  a  beehive,  its  walls  being  made  of 
thirty-three  horizontal  circular  courses  of  stones, 
gradually  narrowing  as  they  ascend.  Off  this 
there  is  a  smaller  tomb-chamber.  The  entrance  to 
the  beehive  is  by  a  walled  passage  nineteen  feet 
wide,  leading  for  over  one  hundred  feet  into  the 


46  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

hillside,  the  large  doorway  being  surmounted  by  a 
lintel,  of  which  one  of  the  stones  is  thirty  feet  long, 
sixteen  feet  broad,  and  three  feet  thick,  the  esti- 
mated weight  being  113  tons.  There  are  a  half- 
dozen  vaulted  tombs,  but  of  less  elaboration.  The 
Acropolis  has,  as  the  chief  entrance  to  the  citadel, 
the  famous  "  Gate  of  the  Lions."  This  is  in  a 
passage  having  a  tower  on  the  southern  side  and 
approaching  the  northwestern  angle  of  the  citadel. 
The  doorway  is  about  ten  feet  wide  and  as  high, 
the  doorposts  sloping  slightly  inward  and  sup- 
porting a  large  lintel  stone  sixteen  feet  long  and 
having  a  triangular  slab  of  brownish  limestone.  On 
this  slab  is  carved  a  relief  representing  two  lions 
reared  on  their  hind  legs,  the  forepaws  resting  on 
the  pedestal  of  a  column.  Originally  their  heads, 
said  to  be  made  of  metal,  were  looking  toward  those 
who  approached  the  gate,  but  these  heads  have  dis- 
appeared. Within  is  a  terrace,  formerly  covered  by 
rubbish  that  Dr.  Schliemann  removed,  disclosing  six 
tombs,  in  which  were  found  the  remains  of  seven- 
teen persons,  with  much  gold  and  ornaments.  These 
are  called  the  "  royal  tombs,"  and  are  supposed, 
from  a  reference  made  by  Pausanias,  to  have  been 
the  burial  place  of  Agamemnon  and  his  family. 
The  summit  of  the  Acropolis  rises  over  nine  hundred 
feet,  and  its  fortifications  were  built  as  a  triangle, 
with  the  border  falling  off  into  deep  ravines,  on  the 
northern  and  southeastern  sides.  Here  were  found 


Lion  Gate,  Mycenae. 


E^jfcfe 


THE  ISTHMUS  OF  CORINTH  47 

remains  of  a  palace  and  a  temple  erected  to  Athena. 
The  view  from  the  summit  covers  the  entire  Argolis 
plain,  and  extends  southward  to  the  distant  sea. 

THE    ISTHMUS    OF    CORINTH. 

The  outcropping  foothills  of  various  mountain 
ridges  bound  the  Argolis  plain  northward,  and 
about  seven  miles  away  the  railroad  crosses  the 
summit  of  the  ridge  at  Nemea.  Here  in  a  secluded 
forest  valley  was  the  Nemean  Temple  of  Zeus,  the 
national  sanctuary  of  the  Peloponnesus.  This 
temple  has  had  most  of  its  columns  thrown  down 
by  repeated  earthquakes,  but  three  are  still  standing, 
and  in  the  neighborhood  are  held  the  biennial 
Nemean  games.  Descending  from  the  ridge,  the 
route  goes  northeastward  to  the  Isthmus  of  Corinth. 
At  Athikia,  near  the  town  of  Tenea  on  the  railway, 
was  found  the  noted  Apollo  of  Tenea,  now  in  the 
museum  at  Munich.  The  railway  goes  out  to  the 
shore  of  the  Corinthian  Gulf  at  the  little  town  of 
Corinth,  a  modern  Grecian  settlement  of  about 
5,000  people,  founded  in  1858,  after  the  previous 
city  had  been  destroyed  by  an  earthquake. 

The  Corinthian  Gulf  to  the  westward  and  the 
Saronic  Gulf  to  the  eastward  almost  bisect  Greece. 
The  Isthmus  of  Corinth,  separating  them  and  con- 
necting the  Peloponnesus  with  northern  Greece,  is 
about  four  miles  wide.  A  ship  canal  is  constructed 
through  it,  completed  in  1893  at  a  cost  of 


48  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

$12,000,000,  and  having  26  feet  depth.  It  is  a 
convenience  to  the  large  commerce  passing  between 
the  Adriatic  and  the  ^Egean  and  Black  Seas,  but  is 
only  able  to  pass  the  smaller  ships,  and  the  canal 
tolls  barely  pay  expenses.  This  has  always  been 
a  trade  route  between  the  east  and  west,  and  the 
ancients  often  talked  of  digging  the  canal,  Nero 
actually  beginning  the  work,  but  abandoning  it. 
There  was  once  a  tramway  on  which  little  vessels 
were  transported  across,  and  many  remains  exist  of 
the  famous  "  Isthmian  wall,"  built  across  the  neck 
of  land  for  defensive  purposes.  The  railroad  from 
Corinth  to  Athens  crosses  the  canal  on  a  high  bridge. 
At  either  end  of  the  canal  are  small  towns,  the 
western  one,  Poseidonia,  being  named  for  Poseidon, 
the  Grecian  Neptune.  The  other  town  is  Isthmia, 
near  which  have  been  recently  excavated  ancient  Isth- 
mian sanctuaries.  Here  were  Temples  of  Poseidon 
and  the  Phrenician  god  Melkart,  and  there  were  insti- 
tuted by  Theseus,  and  celebrated  every  two  years, 
the  Isthmian  games,  the  Stadium,  where  they  were 
exhibited,  being  now  partly  excavated.  It  was  at 
this  place  that  Alexander  the  Great  was  proclaimed 
as  the  leader  of  all  the  Greeks,  B.  C.  336. 

Corinth  was  one  of  the  famous  cities  of  classic 
Greece,  and  its  name  has  been  given  to  that  elaborate 
order  of  architecture  the  Corinthian.  The  towering 
eminence  of  Akro-Corinthe,  southwest  of  the  present 
town,  was  the  Acropolis  of  the  ancient  stronghold, 


THE  ISTHMUS  OF  CORINTH  40 

and  a  massive  fortress,  its  summit  elevated  nearly 
1,900  feet.  On  the  slopes  and  to  the  northward 
extended  the  city,  to  the  shore  of  the  gulf,  a  busy 
commercial  mart,  having,  with  the  fortress,  a  cir- 
cuit of  probably  a  dozen  miles.  Extensive  excava- 
tions have  been  made  here,  disclosing  the  interesting 
remains  of  the  past.  Thus  the  ancient  fountain,  the 
Peirene,  has  been  exhumed,  dating  from  the  sixth 
century  B.  C.,  and  showing  various  improvements 
of  subsequent  periods.  There  is  a  Temple  to  Apollo, 
having  seven  huge  monolithic  columns  at  the  south- 
western corner  that  are  still  standing,  with  also  a 
part  of  the  entablature.  There  are  also  scanty  re- 
mains of  the  theatre.  The  Akro-Corinthe  hill  has 
elaborate  fortifications,  erected  in  the  middle  ages, 
and  covering  a  circuit  of  about  one  mile  and  a  half, 
and  there  are  still  preserved  several  old  cannon  from 
the  Venetian  period.  Lying  on  the  summit  are 
some  stone  blocks  said  to  have  belonged  to  a 
Temple  of  Aphrodite.  Upon  the  slope  of  the  hill 
is  the  spring  which  supplied  the  Peirene  fountain, 
and,  like  other  Grecian  springs,  it  is  given  a  mytho- 
logical origin,  the  tale  being  that  it  gushed  forth 
at  a  stroke  by  the  hoof  of  Pegasus.  Another  story  is 
that  ^Esopus,  the  river  god,  at  the  founding  of  the 
town  bestowed  it  upon  Sisyphos.  The  Phoenicians, 
in  their  sailor  wanderings,  were  early  colonists 
and  brought  here  the  worship  of  Melkart 

and    Astarte    (Aphrodite).     The    Dorians    came   in 
VOL.  II— 4 


50  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  ninth  century  B.  C.,  expanding  its  trade, 
and  in  the  height  of  its  prosperity  Corinth 
planted  numerous  colonies  on  the  Mediterranean 
shores,  to  control  maritime  routes,  including  Syra- 
cuse and  Corcyra.  Timoleon  was  a  Corinthian,  and 
in  the  fourth  century  B.  C.,  after  saving  the  life  of 
his  brother  Timophanes  on  the  battlefield,  when  the 
brother  seized  the  Acropolis  and  tried  to  overthrow 
the  government  Timoleon  permitted  him  to  be 
slain  for  his  perfidy.  Diogenes  lived  in  the  suburb 
of  Kroneion,  and  was  visited  by  Alexander  the 
Great.  Corinth  was  prominent  in  the  Achaean 
League,  and  when  the  Romans  came  they  laid  it 
waste  and  sold  the  people  into  slavery.  Caesar,  how- 
ever, repeopled  the  place,  and  gave  it  fresh  pros- 
perity, so  that  it  had  again  become  the  first  com- 
mercial city  of  Greece  when  St.  Paul  made  his 
visit,  founding  the  Christian  church,  to  which  he 
sent  his  two  epistles.  The  great  fortress  was  re- 
nowned for  many  centuries,  and  especially  in  the 
time  of  the  Venetians  and  the  Turks.  Byron's 
noted  poem,  the  Siege  of  Corinth,  describes  its  many 
conflicts,  and  its  capture  by  the  Turks  in  1Y15,  they 
holding  it  afterward  until  the  Grecian  independence. 

Many  a  vanish'd  year  and  age 

And  tempest's  breath    and  battle's  rage 

Have  swept  o'er  Corinth;  yet  she  stands 

A  fortress  formed  to  Freedom's  hands. 

The  whirlwind's  wrath,  the  earthquake's  shock, 

Have  left  untouch'd  her  hoary  rock, 


THE  ISTHMUS  OF  CORINTH  51 

The  keystone  of  a  land,  which  still, 
Though  fall'n,  looks  proudly  on  that  hill, 
The  landmark  to  the  double  tide 
That  purpling  rolls  on  either  side, 
As  if  their  waters  chafed  to  meet, 
Yet  pause  and  crouch  beneath  her  feet. 

But  could  the  blood  before  her  shed 

Since  first  Timoleon's  brother  bled, 

Or  baffled  Persia's  despot  fled, 

Arise  from  out  the  earth  which  drank 

The  stream  of  slaughter  as  it  sank, 

That  sanguine  ocean  would  o'erflow 

Her  isthmus  idly  spread  below: 

Or  could  the  bones  of  all  the  slain, 

Who  perished  there,  be  piled  again, 

That  rival  pyramid  would  rise 

More  mountain-like  through  those  clear  skies 

Than  yon  tower-capped  Acropolis, 

Which  seems  the  very  clouds  to  kiss. 

From  the  summit  of  this  renowned  Acropolis  there 
is  a  view  which  has  been  celebrated  from  the 
earliest  times.  Its  isolated  position  gives  the  ol> 
server  a  survey  all  around  the  horizon,  with  the 
Corinthian  and  Saronic  Gulfs  and  the  isthmus 
spread  out  like  a  map,  and  enclosed  by  the  distant 
mountains  north  and  south.  To  the  east  and  south- 
east is  the  Saronic  Gulf,  with  its  islands,  and  at 
the  horizon  the  Attic  peninsula,  with  Athens  due 
east,  displaying  its  Acropolis  and  the  Parthenon  and 
the  white  walls  of  the  royal  palace,  thirty  miles  away. 
To  the  south  are  the  mountains  that  enclose  the 
Argolis  plain,  their  eastern  declivities  falling  off 
abruptly  to  the  Saronic  Gulf.  To  the  west  are  the 


52  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Arcadian  mountains,  rising  into  the  snow-capped 
peak  of  Ziria,  the  ancient  Kyllene,  elevated  7,800 
feet,  and  then  falling  off  to  the  fruitful  plain 
of  Sikyon,  adjoining  the  placid  and  far  westward 
extending  Corinthian  Gulf,  which  is  lost  in  the  dis- 
tance, at  its  narrow  outlet,  the  Strait  of  Lepanto, 
enclosed  by  the  dim  promontory  which  overlooks 
Patras.  To  the  northward,  at  one's  feet,  is  the 
town,  with  the  isthmus  and  its  canal  and  railroad 
on  the  right  hand  and  the  harbor  and  gulf  in  front, 
the  background  enclosed  by  the  vast  amphitheatre 
of  the  mountains  of  northern  Greece.  Almost  due 
north  rises  the  famous  Helicon,  the  home  of  the 
Muses,  and  farther  to  the  northwest  the  more  dis- 
tant and  higher  mass  of  Parnassus,  its  snow-clad 
summit  having  been  Apollo's  dwelling.  Such  is 
the  magnificent  environment  of  the  renowned  Corin- 
thian fortress,  which  has  seen  nearly  thirty  centuries 
of  history  besides  its  earlier  mythological  career. 

The  land  to  the  westward  of  Corinth,  bordering  the 
Corinthian  Gulf,  is  Achaia,  or  the  "  coast  land," 
which  had  so  much  part  in  Grecian  history,  and, 
nearer  to  the  hill,  is  the  fertile  plain  of  Sikyon, 
through  which  flows  the  stream  named  for  the  river 
god  ^Esopus.  Here  are  the  remains,  near  the  stream, 
of  the  theatre,  stadium  and  aqueduct  of  ancient 
Sikyon,  the  "  cucumber  town."  Beyond  rises  the 
peak  of  Chelmos,  over  7,700  feet,  and  having  ruins 
of  ancient  Grecian  cities  all  about  it.  Nearer  the 


THE  ISTHMUS  OF  CORINTH  53 

gulf  is  the  most  important  monastery  of  Greece, 
the  Megaspela?on,  in  a  cave,  vaulted  in  a  cliff  3,000 
feet  above  the  sea.  This  monastery  was  established 
in  the  fourth  century  by  Simeon  and  Theodorus, 
and  the  shepherdess  St.  Euphrosyne,  but  has  dwindled 
in  importance  in  later  history.  It  is  fortified,  and 
the  monks  and  their  allies  successfully  defended  it 
against  Ibrahim  Pasha's  Turks  in  1827.  The 
tradition  is  that  in  the  cave  was  found  by 
Euphrosyne  a  waxen  image  of  the  Virgin  and  Child, 
ascribed  to  St.  Luke,  and  still  preserved  in  the  con- 
vent and  held  in  great  reverence.  The  lady  also 
called  into  existence  the  "  Maiden's  Spring,"  which 
gushes  forth  below  this  "  Convent  of  the  Cave."  A 
most  romantic  gorge  leads  down  from  the  convent, 
through  the  valley  of  the  Erasinos  brook,  to  the 
Kalavryta  river,  where  a  rack  and  pinion  railway 
winds  through  another  picturesque  ravine  out  to 
the  coast.  Beyond  this  on  the  shore  is  ^Egina, 
which  was  the  port  of  Achaia  and  the  place  of  the 
deliberations  of  the  Achaean  League,  which  met  in  the 
Homarian  grove.  It  has  a  fair  harbor  and  trade 
in  grapes  and  currants,  the  chief  products  of  the 
neighborhood.  About  twenty-five  miles  beyond  is 
Patras,  and  to  the  northeast  is  the  narrow  Strait 
of  Lepanto,  not  much  over  a  mile  wide,  the  outlet 
to  the  sea.  The  outcropping  ridges  from  higher 
mountains  enclose  the  strait,  and  on  either  hand 
are  the  decaying  forts  built  to  guard  the  pass  by 


54:  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  Venetians  and  called  the  "  Little  Dardanelles." 
In  the  olden  time  these  were  known  as  Rhion  and 
Antirrhion,  each  having  a  temple  dedicated  to 
Poseidon.  Just  within  the  strait,  on  the  northern 
shore,  is  the  deeply  recessed  Bay  of  Naupactos,  its 
fortress,  now  the  decadent  town  of  Lepanto,  having 
for  centuries  controlled  the  gulf.  In  the  middle 
ages  the  Venetians  held  it,  and  in  1407  the  Turks 
unsuccessfully  besieged  it  for  four  months,  when 
they  withdrew,  after  a  loss  of  thirty  thousand  men. 
They  got  possession,  however,  at  the  close  of  that 
century.  The  Corinthian  Gulf  is  about  seventy-five 
miles  long  and  broadens  in  places  to  sixteen  miles. 

One  of  the  greatest  naval  contests  of  the  world 
was  fought  in  15 71  for  the  possession  of  this  gulf. 
The  Turks  had  become  invincible  at  sea,  and  the 
great  nations  of  Christendom  united  to  curtail  their 
power.  Spain,  Venice,  Genoa  and  the  Pope,  with 
other  allies,  fitted  out  a  grand  armada,  which  sailed 
from  Messina,  under  command  of  the  famous  Don 
John  of  Austria,  the  natural  son  of  Emperor 
Charles  V,  who  was  then  24  years  old.  There  were 
three  hundred  vessels  in  this  fleet,  most  of  them 
"  royal  galleys,"  the  best  fighting  ships  of  the  day, 
and  manned  by  80,000  sailors,  oarsmen  and  troops. 
At  sunrise  on  Sunday,  October  7,  1571,  they  ap- 
proached the  entrance  to  the  gulf,  and  sighted  the 
Turkish  fleet,  which  had  come  out  to  meet  them.  It 
had  250  "  royal  galleys,"  with  many  smaller  vessels, 


THtf  ISTHMUS  OF  CORINTH  55 

and  120,000  men.  The  Christian  fleet  advanced, 
with  a  front  extending  about  three  miles,  and  before 
the  battle  began  the  handsome  Don  John,  in  a  light! 
galley,  passed  rapidly  among  the  vessels  encourag- 
ing his  people  and  saying :  "  You  have  come  to 
fight  the  battle  of  the  Cross  —  to  conquer  or  to  die. 
But  whether  you  are  to  die  or  to  conquer,  do  your 
duty  this  day  and  you  will  secure  a  glorious  im- 
mortality." It  was  the  Cross  against  the  crescent 
of  the  infidel.  The  action  began  about  noon  and 
was  desperately  fought,  continuing  four  hours  and 
resulting  in  the  total  defeat  .and  almost  annihila- 
tion of  the  Turks.  Only  one-sixth  of  their  vessels 
escaped,  one  hundred  and  thirty  galleys  were  taken, 
and  eighty  burnt  or  sunk.  They  lost  25,000  killed 
and  5,000  prisoners,  while  over  12,000  Chris- 
tian captives,  who  had  been  chained  to  the  oars  on 
the  Turkish  galleys,  were  set  free.  Ali  Pasha,  the 
Turkish  commander,  was  among  the  slain.  The 
Christian  loss  was  about  7,600.  In  this  contest 
Miguel  Cervantes,  who  afterward  wrote  Don 
Quixote,  served  as  a  Spanish  soldier,  and  lost  his 
left  hand.  The  defeat  of  the  infidels  created  the 
greatest  sensation  throughout  the  Christian  world, 
it  being  the  most  effective  blow  struck  at  the  power 
of  the  Turks,  and  from  that  time  their  prestige  de- 
clined. When  told  the  extent  of  the  victory,  the 
Pope  is  said  to  have  shed  tears,  exclaiming  "  There 
was  a  man  sent  from  God  and  his  name  was  John." 


56  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 


PARNASSUS    AND    DELPHI. 

The  northern  coast  of  the  Corinthian  Gulf,  the 
shore  of  Phokis  and  Lokris,  is  a  succession  of  bays 
and  promontories,  the  outcropping  of  the  more  dis- 
tant mountains,  and  behind  it  rises  the  elaborate 
group  of  peaks  making  the  famous  Mount  Parnas- 
sus. At  the  southern  end  of  a  ridge,  coming  down 
from  the  north,  rises  the  highest  summit,  the  Lykeri, 
elevated  8,070  feet,  while  four  other  peaks  are  de- 
tached in  a  semicircle,  stretching  east  and  west.  It 
was  this  summit  of  Parnassus,  in  the  Grecian  myth 
of  the  deluge,  which  alone  rose  above  the  vast  waste 
of  waters,  and  here  one  man  and  one  woman  found 
refuge,  Deucalion  and  Pyrrha,  who  were  children 
of  the  Titans.  When  the  waters  subsided  they 
went  to  the  Delphic  oracle,  where  the  altar  was 
without  fire  and  the  sacred  temple  soiled  by  water- 
weeds,  and  asked  advice.  "  Go  forth,"  was  the 
answer,  "  with  your  faces  veiled  and  your  robes  un- 
girt,  and  cast  behind,  as  you  go,  the  bones  of  your 
mother."  They  marvelled  at  this,  feeling  that  it 
would  be  impious  to  strew  their  mother's  bones  along 
the  way,  but,  going  out  together  and  walking  upon 
the  firm  ground,  Deucalion  solved  the  riddle.  Point- 
ing to  the  ground  he  said,  "  Behold  the  Earth,  our 
mother!  What  should  her  bones  be  but  the  rocks 
and  pebbles  that  strew  the  path  ?  "  Then  they  veiled 
their  faces  and  ungirt  their  robes,  and,  each  gather- 


PARNASSUS  AND  DELPHI  57 

ing  an  armful  of  stones,  flung  them  behind  as  they 
walked.  Every  stone  thrown  by  Deucalion  became 
a  man  and  every  one  that  Pyrrha  threw  became  a 
woman.  Down  from  the  mountain  they  went,  with 
all  these  new  creatures,  to  repeople  the  drowned 
Earth. 

The  view  from  the  Lykeri  summit  is  widespread, 
excepting  to  the  westward.  One  can  gaze  far  across 
the  ^Egean  sea  eastward.  The  steep  sides  of  the 
sacred  Mount  Athos  are  to  the  northeast,  the  huge 
mass  of  Mount  Olympus  to  the  northward,  with  the 
lower  summits  of  Ossa  and  Pelion  alongside,  and 
the  broad  Helicon  to  the  southeast.  The  view  to 
the  west  and  northwest  is  circumscribed  by  the 
higher  ^Etolian  summits  of  Yardousi  and  Kiona,  the 
highest  mountains  in  the  present  Grecian  kingdom, 
Kiona  rising  8,240  feet.  Upon  the  abrupt  eastern 
slope  of  Parnassus,  in  a  romantic  situation,  is  the 
Convent  of  Jerusalem,  where  the  monks  hospitably 
entertain  the  traveller.  At  its  southern  base,  in  a 
deep  ravine,  flows  the  ancient  Pleistos,  now  the 
Xeropotami,  having  high  above  its  northern  verge 
the  tall  cliffs  of  the  Phsedriadse,  or  the  "  shining 
rocks."  These  two  cliffs  are  separated  by  a  narrow 
chasm,  through  which,  in  wet  seasons,  a  torrent 
rushes  to  the  river,  pouring  down  from  the  mountain 
above,  which  was  the  favorite  abode  of  Apollo. 
Under  the  shadow  of  the  western  cliff,  and  at  about 
1,900  feet  elevation  above  the  sea,  was  Delphi,  the 


58  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

god's  famous  oracle.  Extensive  excavations  have 
been  made  of  the  ruins  of  the  "  sacred  precinct "  of 
Delphi,  largely  under  French  auspices,  the  entire 
village  of  Kastri,  standing  on  the  site,  being  removed. 
We  are  told  that  the  dragon  Pytho  lived  in  this 
charming  place,  and  that  the  impressive  scenery, 
strong  currents  of  air  blowing  out  of  the  mountain 
gorges,  and  the  ice-cold  torrents  pouring  from  its 
many  springs,  with  the  evil  fame  of  the  dragon, 
all  inspired  men  with  a  mysterious  awe.  Apollo  was 
then  born  in  the  island  of  Delos,  and,  hearing  of  the 
dragon,  he  came  here  five  days  after  his  birth  and 
with  his  far-reaching  arrow  darts  slew  it.  The 
mountain  and  its  attractions  so  charmed  him  that 
he  brought  here  his  priests  and  established  his 
home.  To  obtain  these  priests  for  his  worship  he 
changed  himself  into  a  dolphin  and  sailed  among  the 
Grecian  islands,  and  hence  came  the  original  name 
of  Delphi.  The  temple  was  here  from  the  earliest 
times.  The  oracle  established  and  the  place  became 
the  headquarters  of  the  Grecian  worshippers  of 
Apollo,  and  was  the  location  of  the  Delphic 
Amphictyony,  who  governed  it,  being  the  earliest  con- 
federation of  Greek  states.  From  the  mythological 
period  the  oracle  was  consulted  on  all  important 
affairs,  and  troops  of  pilgrims  came  to  the  shrine,  at 
first  washing  for  purification  in  the  Castalian  spring, 
coming  out  of  the  "  shining  rocks  "  to  the  eastward, 
the  belief  being  that  the  water  gave  inspiration. 


PARNASSUS  AND  DELPHI  59 

Ovid  tells  of  this,  and  so  do  others  of  the  ancient 
writers : 

To  the  pure  precincts  of  Apollo's  portal 

Come   pure  in  heart   and  touch  the  lustral  wave: 

One  drop  sufficeth  for  the  sinless  mortal; 
All  else,  e'en  ocean's  billows,  cannot  lave. 

The  occupants  of  the  neighboring  Krisean  plain 
were  in  the  habit  of  plundering  the  pilgrims,  and  it 
resulted  in  a  holy  war,  in  596  B.  C.,  which  drove 
them  out  and  incorporated  their  territory  with  the 
sacred  domain  a  few  years  later.  The  Amphictyony 
met  twice  a  year,  and  the  Pythian  games  were  in- 
stituted, being  held  every  fourth  year  to  commemo- 
rate this  victory.  The  original  temple  was  burnt, 
548  B.  C.,  and  funds  were  subscribed  throughout 
Greece  to  rebuild  it,  the  front  being  then  constructed 
of  Parian  marble,  and  magnificently  decorated. 
An  earthquake,  in  the  fourth  century  B.  C.,  threw 
this  structure  down,  and  it  was  again  rebuilt. 
Great  wealth  was  accumulated  at  Delphi  from  the 
gifts  of  the  pilgrims,  and  this  was  tempting.  The 
army  of  Xerxes  was  sent  to  sack  it,  and,  according 
to  the  legend,  was  driven  back  in  a  panic  by  the 
miraculous  interference  of  Apollo.  Again  in  the 
third  century  B.  C.  Brennus  and  the  Gauls  planned 
to  plunder  it,  but  they  too  were  dispersed  by  a 
miracle.  The  belief  was  that  earthquakes,  frequent 
at  Delphi,  intervened  in  both  cases.  These  events 
and  the  patriotic  predictions  of  the  Delphic  priests 


60  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

in  various  contests  raised  the  reputation  of  the 
oracle  to  a  high  place,  and  trophies  were  erected  here 
from  the  booty  of  various  wars.  There  were  re- 
peated contests  for  its  control,  but  the  Amphictyony 
remained  in  possession  until  the  Roman  era.  Sulla, 
who  was  besieging  Athens,  86  B.  C.,  seized  its 
treasures  for  the  payment  of  his  troops,  and  Nero 
plundered  it,  carrying  off  five  hundred  statues,  but 
there  were  plenty  left,  for  Pliny  says  that  in  his 
time  there  were  three  thousand  statues,  and 
Pausanias  relates  that  the  "  sacred  precinct "  re- 
sembled a  vast  museum.  Hadrian  restored  the 
oracle  to  its  pristine  vigor,  and  Delphi  had  great 
prosperity,  but  with  the  growth  of  Christianity  the 
pagan  worship  declined,  and  Theodosius,  in  the  fourth 
century  A.  D.,  finally  abolished  it  and  ended  the 
wonderful  career  of  the  oracle. 

A  sacred  enclosure,  which  has  been  almost  com- 
pletely excavated,  contained  the  temple  and  other 
buildings  connected  with  the  worship  of  Apollo. 
Innumerable  statues  adorned  the  grounds,  and  there 
were  many  "  treasuries,"  small  buildings  containing 
the  votive  offerings  of  various  states  and  cities. 
Near  by  rose  a  rough  mass  of  rock,  still  existing, 
which  was  the  "stone  of  the  sibyl,"  and  west  of  it 
the  elaborate  Stoa  of  the  Athenians,  which  contained 
vast  riches.  In  the  open  air,  before  the  temple, 
stood  the  great  altar  of  Apollo.  Nothing  now  re- 
mains of  the  temple  but  the  foundations.  It  was 


PARNASSUS  AND  DELPHI  61 

surrounded  by  a  colonnade,  and  measured  about  190 
by  75  feet.  The  pediments  were  adorned  with 
mythological  sculptures.  In  the  vestibule  were  in- 
scribed the  sayings  of  the  "  seven  sages  of  Greece," 
among  them  being  the  mottoes,  "  know  thyself  "  and 
"  moderation  in  all  things."  There  was  also  a  statue 
of  Homer,  who,  to  the  Greeks,  was  the  incarnation  of 
wisdom.  In  the  cella  a  fire  was  kept  perpetually 
burning  on  the  hearth,  and  here  was  the  Omphalos, 
or  "  navel  stone,"  with  the  shape  of  half  an  egg, 
which  marked  the  centre  of  the  earth.  Here  met 
the  two  eagles  which  Zeus  had  caused  to  fly  from 
the  opposite  ends  of  the  earth.  In  the  apartment 
called  the  Adyton,  which  has  entirely  disappeared, 
and  was  said  to  have  been  purposely  destroyed,  the 
oracles  were  delivered.  It  was  an  underground 
chamber,  having  a  deep  cleft  in  the  earth  known  as 
the  "  Chasm  of  the  Oracle,"  from  which  issued  a 
peculiar  narcotic  vapor.  Over  this  chasm  was  placed 
the  golden  tripod  upon  which  sat  the  Pythia,  or 
priestess  of  the  oracle,  when  she  delivered  its  revela- 
tions in  sounds  which  none  but  the  initiated  priests 
could  understand.  In  the  earliest  times  the  Pythia 
was  a  young  girl,  but  afterward  only  women  of  fifty 
years  were  selected  for  the  office.  They  had  to  be 
natives  of  Delphi,  and  absolutely  chaste.  Preparing 
herself  by  chewing  the  leaves  of  the  laurel,  the 
Pythia  sat  upon  the  tripod,  amid  the  narcotic  vapor, 
and,  inspired  by  Apollo,  as  was  believed,  and  probably 


62  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

affected  by  the  gas  she  was  breathing,  fell  into  a 
convulsive  ecstasy,  uttering  confused  groans  and 
sounds,  with  disconnected  words,  that  were  care- 
fully noted  by  the  attendant  priests,  and  told  to  the 
anxious  inquirers,  in  the  form  of  metrical  verses, 
as  revelations  from  the  god.  The  oracle  was  noted 
for  ambiguity,  and  this  passed  not  only  for  great 
wisdom,  but  was  also  calculated  to  preserve  the 
priests'  reputation  in  doubtful  cases.  An  extensive 
theatre  occupies  the  northwestern  portion  of  the 
sacred  precinct,  while  outside  is  a  spacious  Stadium. 
Many  relics  have  been  gathered  in  the  Delphi 
Museum. 

FAMOUS    GRECIAN    PLACES. 

To  the  westward  of  Parnassus  its  foothills  fall 
off  to  the  bay  of  Salona,  extending  far  up  into  the 
northern  shore  of  the  Corinthian  Gulf  and  to  the 
romantic  intervale  coming  down  to  the  sea  from  the 
northward.  Here  are  Salona  and  its  little  port  of 
Itea  by  the  shore,  the  landing  place  for  Delphi.  To 
the  northward  is  Doris,  and  through  it  and  Lokris 
various  roads  cross  the  mountainous  peninsula, 
farther  northward,  to  Malis,  around  the  head  of  the 
Melic  Gulf,  now  called  the  Gulf  of  Lamia,  and  the 
wide  plain  of  the  Spercheios  River,  flowing  into  its 
head.  One  of  these  roads  comes  out  of  the  mountain 
fastness  and  down  toward  the  river  valley  through 
the  famous  Pass  of  Thermopylae.  This  region,  in 


FAMOUS  GRECIAN  PLACES  63 

the  prehistoric  period,  was  said  by  Homer  to  have 
been  the  home  of  Achilles  and  his  Myrmidons,  but 
its  chief  fame  comes  from  the  immortal  defence  of 
the  pass  made  by  Leonidas,  King  of  Sparta,  and  his 
band  of  heroes,  480  B.  C.  This  pass  was  then 
almost  the  only  defile  leading  from  Thessaly  through 
the  mountain  rampart  protecting  the  central  and 
southern  Grecian  states.  Two  hot  springs,  their 
sulphurous  waters  being  over  120°,  gave  the  pass  its 
name,  the  literal  meaning  being  the  "  hot  gate." 
They  rise  at  the  foot  of  Mount  (Eta,  their  waters 
flowing  out  to  the  Spercheios,  and  the  pass  was  then 
a  narrow  defile  between  the  mountain  and  an 
inaccessible  morass  forming  the  edge  of  the  Melic 
Gulf.  During  the  twenty-five  centuries  that  have 
passed  since  the  heroic  battle  the  river  and  its 
tributaries  have  filled  up  the  head  of  the  gulf,  so 
that  now,  instead  of  the  easily  closed  defile,  about 
sixty  feet  wide  between  the  precipice  and  the  sea, 
the  pass  has  lost  its  strategic  value,  and  is  replaced 
by  a  broad,  flat,  and  partly  marshy  plain,  the  gulf 
having  been  filled  up  and  the  waters  receded  to 
the  eastward.  In  the  days  of  Leonidas  there  was 
a  road  only  wide  enough  for  a  single  wheel  track, 
which  formed  the  western  gate  of  the  pass,  and  about 
a  mile  eastward  Mount  (Eta  again  approached  the 
gulf  in  a  similar  manner,  the  passage  there  form- 
ing the  eastern  gate.  The  route  between  the  two 
gates  was  broader,  and  many  years  previously  a 


64  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

wall  had  been  built  near  the  western  gate  to  pre- 
vent incursions  by  the  Thessalians,  this  wall  being 
in  ruins  when  the  Spartans  came. 

Xerxes  and  his  Persian  host  had  marched  through 
Thessaly  southward,  the  Greeks  having  abandoned 
every  line  of  defence  till  they  reached  Thermopylae. 
Leonidas  had  300  Spartans  and  700  Thespians,  with 
about  3,000  more  from  other  states.  The  Persians 
encamped  in  the  valley,  expecting  the  Greeks  to 
again  retreat,  and  waited  five  days  before  attacking. 
Then,  for  two  days,  the  battle  raged  upon  the  coast 
plain,  every  advance  being  repulsed  with  great 
slaughter.  Xerxes  saw  this  method  was  unavailing 
and  determined  to  turn  the  pass.  Ephialtes,  a  traitor 
Malian,  guided  a  flanking  party.  Leonidas,  find- 
ing retreat  cut  off,  and  hemmed  in  on  both  sides 
by  overwhelming  numbers,  fought  with  desperation, 
ultimately  withdrawing  to  a  small  plateau  above  the 
springs,  where  the  Greeks  fell  one  by  one,  under  the 
arrows  of  the  Persians,  until  all  were  killed.  Upon 
this  round-topped  plateau,  at  the  western  gate  of 
the  pass,  the  scene  of  the  last  deadly  struggle,  there 
was  placed  a  lion,  in  memory  of  Leonidas,  and  the 
famous  Grecian  inscription : 

"  Stranger,  tell  the  Spartans  that  we  are  lying  here 
in  obedience  to  their  commands." 

There  was  the  further  inscription: 

"  On  this  spot  four  thousand  Peloponnesians 
Fought  against  more  than  three  millions." 


FAMOUS  GRECIAN  PLACES  65 

Other  famous  battles  have  been  fought  at  this 
pass.  The  Greeks,  B.  C.  279,  successfully  defended 
it  for  months  against  Brennus  and  his  army  of 
Gauls,  who  eventually  turned  it,  though  the  Greeks 
escaped  to  their  ships.  Antiochus  of  Syria,  B.  C. 
191,  defended  it  against  the  Roman  invasion,  and 
again  it  was  turned,  only  Antiochus  and  500  of  his 
men  escaping  slaughter. 

To  the  eastward  of  Parnassus  are  the  ruins  of  the 
Panopeus  Acropolis.  Homer  gave  this  place  the 
honor  of  being  the  home  of  Epeios,  who  made  the 
wooden  horse  of  Troy,  and  here  Apollo  thrashed 
Phoebus,  the  wild  leader  of  the  Phlegyse.  To  the 
southward,  in  a  charming  situation,  with  Parnas- 
sus to  the  northwest  and  Helicon  farther  south- 
ward, is  the  medieval  citadel  of  Livadia.  Here  was 
the  oracle  of  Trophonios,  which*  was  in  vogue  for 
several  centuries  before  the  Christian  era.  Along- 
side flows  the  Herkyna,  where  the  inquirer,  con- 
sulting the  oracle,  had  to  bathe,  and  there  still  exist 
the  two  springs  of  Lethe  and  Mnemosyne,  where  he 
drank  forgetfulness  of  the  past  out  of  the  waters 
of  Lethe  and,  from  the  other,  memory  for  the 
revelation  of  the  oracle.  Then  the  priests  took  him 
into  a  vaulted  cave  in  the  hill,  where  he  was  put 
into  communication  with  the  divinity,  being  drawn 
through  a  narrow  crevice,  and,  on  emerging,  the 
priests  placed  him  on  the  "  Throne  of  ITnemosyne," 

interpreting    what    he    had    seen    and    heard.     A 
VOL.  II— 5 


66  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

reservoir,  in  the  castle,  is  said  to  have  been  this 
sacred  cave.  Farther  on  we  approach  the  summits 
of  the  Helicon  group,  the  highest,  Palseovouna, 
rising  5,740  feet.  Here  is  the  hill  of  Askra,  where 
the  poet  Hesiod  was  born  in  the  eighth  century  B.C., 
and  in  the  midst  of  the  Helicon  group  the  romantic 
Valley  of  the  Muses  stretches  southwestward.  This 
was  the  home  of  the  nine  Grecian  Muses,  who 
migrated  hither  from  Mount  Olympus,  they  having 
originated  in  Thrace.  Among  their  apostles  was 
Orpheus,  and  they  were  worshipped  here  during  sev- 
eral centuries,  until  the  Roman  period,  when  the 
advent  of  Christianity  ended  it.  There  were  many 
altars  and  statues,  the  latter  having  been  taken  by 
Constantino  to  Constantinople,  where  they  were 
destroyed  by  a  fire,  in  the  fifth  century  A.  D.  On 
the  slope  of  Eastern  Helicon's  highest  summit  still 
flows  the  famous  spring  of  Hippokrene,  sacred  to 
the  Muses,  which  is  said  to  have  first  gushed  forth 
when  Pegasus,  the  "  wondrous  winged  steed  with 
mane  of  gold,"  who  had  grown  from  the  blood  of 
the  Medusa  when  she  was  slain  by  Perseus,  struck 
his  hoof  into  the  rock  and  leaped  up  to  Heaven. 
There  he  still  is,  in  the  constellation  which  displays 
the  "  Great  Square  of  Pegasus,"  enclosing  thousands 
of  stars.  This  noted  fountain  is  now  enclosed  like 
a  well ;  and  the  poet  sings  of  it : 

When  wearily  you  scale  the  height  of  Helicon's  steep  mountain, 
How  sweet  the  flowing  nectar  of  Hippokrene's  fountain! 


FAMOUS  ORECIAN  PLACES  67 

Steep  also  is  the  poet's  path;  but  whosoe'er  attaineth 
At  last  the  crowning  summit  the  Muse's  guerdon  gaineth! 

The  scant  ruins  of  Thespise  —  a  low  wall  and  the 
substructures  of  some  temples  —  are  to  the  south- 
ward, the  city  that  had  seven  hundred  of  its  warriors 
slain  with  Leonidas.  Xerxes  came  here  and  burnt 
it.  The  place  was  repeatedly  rebuilt  and  destroyed, 
but  it  had  ceased  to  exist  in  the  middle  ages. 
Near  by  was  Leuktra,  which  has  entirely  disappeared, 
the  great  battle  that  gave  Thebes  control  of  Greece 
having  been  fought  here,  B.  C.  371.  A  little  way  to 
the  southeast  are  the  remains  of  Plateea,  the  "  town 
of  the  plateau,"  where  the  battle  took  place,  B.  C. 
479,  the  year  after  Thermopylae,  which  finally  drove 
the  Persians  from  Grecian  soil,  the  Greeks  being  then 
commanded  by  the  Spartan  king  Pausanias,  and  the 
solemn  festival  of  the  Eleutheria,  celebrated  every 
four  years,  having  been  instituted  in  memory  of  the 
victory.  The  city  was  subsequently  destroyed  in 
the  various  Peloponnesian  wars,  and  ultimately  sank 
into  insignificance.  There  are  interesting  remains, 
and  the  historic  battlefield  can  be  traced  on  the  banks 
and  intervale  of  the  little  river  Asopos,  which  is 
crossed  on  the  road  leading  northeast  to  ancient 
Thebes. 

Thivai,  the  modern  Thebes,  is  a  quiet  little  rural 
settlement,  with  about  five  thousand  people,  on  the 
hill  of  the  Kadmeia,  which  was  the  Acropolis  of  the 
ancient  city.  From  its  brow  the  towers  built  by 


68  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  Franks  rise  as  its  landmarks,  seen  from  afar,  and 
to  the  westward  it  has  a  good  outlook  upon  the  Heli- 
con and  Parnassus.     The  Kadmeia  is  elevated  over 
seven  hundred  feet,  and  it  can  readily  be  seen  how 
the  ancient  city,  surrounding  this  impregnable  fort- 
ress, became  the  capital  of  Bceotia    and  at  one  time 
the  most  powerful  municipality  in  Greece,  especially 
when  the  forces  of  "  seven-gated  Thebes  "  were  led 
by    the    renowned     Epaminondas.     Its     origin     is 
mythical,  and  is  attributed  to  the  hero  Cadmus,  son 
of  Agenor,  King  of  Phoenicia,  who  came  here  and 
introduced  the  working  of  metals    and  also  the  six- 
teen simple  letters  of  the  Greek  alphabet.     Cadmus 
was  the  brother  of  Europa,  who  had  been  borne  off 
by  Jupiter,  and  the  legend  is  that  he  left  Phoenicia 
to  search  for  her   and  came  to  consult  the  oracle  at 
Delphi.     The  sibyl  advised  him  to  follow  a  heifer 
which  would  meet  him.     Cadmus  found  the  heifer 
near  by,  and  she  led  him  into  Bceotia,  where  she 
ascended  the  hill  that  he  called  the  Kadmeia    and 
laid  down  on  the  summit.     Cadmus  determined  to 
make  here  a  settlement,   and  this  hill  became  the 
citadel  of  Thebes.     He  sent  some  of  his  companions 
to  draw  water  from  a  well  which  was  sacred  to  Mars, 
but  it  was  guarded  by  a  dragon  that  slew  the  in- 
truders.    Cadmus  killed  the  dragon,  and  was  then 
directed  by  Minerva  to  sow  the  monster's  teeth,  which 
he  did,  and  a  host  of  armed  men  immediately  sprang 
from  the  ground,  and  were  attacking  Cadmus   when 


FAMOUS  GRECIAN  PLACES  69 

he  threw  a  stone  among  them,  a  promiscuous  fight 
ensuing  that  did  not  cease  until  all  were  slain  but 
five.  These  survivors  became  tractable,  assisted 
Cadmus  in  building  the  new  city,  and  from  them 
descended  its  greatest  families.  He  was  honored 
always  as  the  founder  and  patron  of  Thebes,  and  in 
recompense  for  his  perils  the  gods  gave  him  for  a 
wife  Harmonia,  the  daughter  of  Mars  and  Venus. 
Finally  Cadmus  and  Harmonia  were  changed  into 
serpents  and  translated  to  Elysium,  the  home  of  the 
blessed. 

Thus  the  origin  of  Thebes,  from  Phoenicia,  shows 
its  oriental  beginning,  and  similarly  does  the  legend 
of  the  Theban  sphynx,  this  fabulous  monster  being 
evidently  an  idea  borrowed  by  the  Grecian  mythol- 
ogy from  Egypt.  This  sphynx  was  described  as 
having  the  body  and  claws  of  a  lion,  with  the  wings 
of  an  eagle,  the  head  and  breast  of  a  woman  and  the 
tail  of  a  serpent.  To  avenge  the  death  of  the 
dragon  she  was  ravaging  Thebes  and  devouring 
those  who  could  not  solve  a  riddle  she  proposed  to 
whomever  she  met.  The  Thebans  offered  their 
crown  to  anyone  who  could  solve  the  riddle,  and 
(Edipus  solved  it.  The  riddle  was :  "  A  being  with 
four  feet  in  the  morning,  has  two  feet  at  noon,  and 
three  feet  in  the  evening;  and  only  one  voice;  but 
its  feet  vary,  and  where  it  has  most,  it  is  weakest." 
(Edipus  answered  that  the  being  was  man,  who  in 
infancy  crawls  upon  all  fours,  in  manhood  walks 


YO  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

erect  upon  two  feet,  and  in  old  age  supports  himself 
by  a  staff.  The  enraged  sphynx,  her  riddle  solved 
and  her  power  gone,  thereupon  destroyed  herself,  and 
CEdipus  gained  the  crown. 

Thebes  ear]y  extended  its  sovereignty  over  the 
Bo3otian  towns,  and  became  powerful  in  Greece,  at 
first  allying  with  Sparta,  but  later  with  Athens. 
Under  Epaminondas  the  Thebans  won  the  victory  at 
Leuktra,  and  then  Sparta's  power  declined,  but  after 
his  death  the  Macedonians  controlled  Thebes,  and 
Alexander  the  Great  destroyed  the  town,  killing 
6,000  and  carrying  30,000  into  captivity.  Subse- 
quently the  city  dwindled,  but  in  the  middle  ages  had 
flourishing  manufactures,  which  led  the  Normans  to 
plunder  it.  The  Franks  built  a  large  castle  on  the 
Acropolis,  of  which  the  only  remains  are  the  far-view- 
ing towers.  It  degenerated  under  the  Turks  into  a 
rural  village,  suffered  severely  from  earthquakes,  but 
is  now  reviving. 

There  are  ample  remnants  of  ancient  Thebes. 
Excavations  have  disclosed  the  town  wall,  showing 
that  the  city  had  a  circuit  of  eight  to  ten  miles,  and 
there  are  indications  of  the  location  of  the  seven 
gates.  The  Plakiotissa  brook  was  the  old  time  Dirke, 
its  head  stream  coming  from  a  spring  which  gushed 
forth  from  the  spot  where  Dirke  was  killed  by  the 
bull  to  which  the  sons  of  Antippe  had  tied  her  for 
the  ill  treatment  of  their  mother.  Another  stream, 
from  the  southwest  slope  of  the  Kadmeia,  reinforces 


FAMOUS  GRECIAN  PLACES  71 

it,  and  comes  from  the  springs  of  Ares,  an  adjacent 
cave  having  been  the  lair  of  the  dragon  slain  by 
Cadmus.  There  also  are  ruins  of  the  aqueduct  that 
brought  water  from  the  Kithseron  mountain  to  the 
Kadmeia. 

Thebes  is  on  the  Attic  peninsula,  along  which  a 
railway  runs  northeastward  to  Athens.  About  fif- 
teen miles  to  the  eastward  are  the  ruins  of  Tanagra, 
where  extensive  excavations  have  disclosed  the  re- 
mains of  the  town  and  the  Acropolis.  It  was  here, 
B.  C.  455,  that  occurred  the  first  battle  between  the 
Athenians  and  the  Spartans,  the  latter  being  vic- 
torious. A  few  miles  to  the  northward,  on  the  coast 
at  Aulis,  in  the  narrow  channel  protected  by  the 
long  and  mountainous  island  of  Euboia,  the  vast 
Greek  fleet  was  assembled  for  the  attack  upon  Troy. 
Here  is  a  ruined  chapel  of  St.  Nicholas,  where  have 
been  traced  some  remains  of  the  Temple  of  Diana, 
in  which  Agamemnon  was  about  to  sacrifice  his 
daughter  Iphigenia  when  prevented.  Near  Tanagra, 
to  the  eastward,  is  Staniates,  where  was  fought  the 
Battle  of  Delion,  B.  C.  424,  in  which  Thebes  was 
victorious  over  Athens.  It  is  said  that  Socrates, 
Alcibiades  and  Xenophon  were  all  engaged  in  this 
combat,  that  Socrates  saved  the  life  of  Xenophon, 
and  himself  was  rescued  by  Alcibiades.  The  route 
goes  southward  among  the  hills,  crosses  the  Attic 
plain,  joins  the  railway  coming  eastward  from  Cor- 
inth, and  enters  Athens.  The  Kephisos  River,  crossed 


72  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

just  before  reaching  the  city,  is  the  chief  stream  of 
the  Attic  plain,  and  is  the  only  one  that  does  not  go 
dry  in  summer. 

THE    GRECIAN    CAPITAL. 

Who  that  beheld  that  sun  upon  thee  set, 
Fair  Athens!   could  thine  evening  face  forget? 

Milton  tells  us,  in  Paradise  Regained,  of  "  Athens, 
the  eye  of  Greece,  mother  of  arts  and  eloquence." 
We  reverently  greet  its  noble  Parthenon-crowned 
Acropolis  as  we  approach  the  famous  city.  Cecrops 
is  said  to  have  reigned  on  the  plain  of  Attica  in 
mythological  times,  and  to  have  built  its  earliest  cita- 
del, the  Kekropia.  Theseus  came  later,  as  the  actual 
founder  of  Athens,  which  was  named  for  Athena 
(Minerva),  its  patron  divinity.  A  range  of  hills, 
rising  from  the  Attic  plain,  goes  through  the  city 
from  east  to  west,  the  highest  being  the  Lycabettos, 
rising  910  feet,  which  is  separated  by  a  broad  de- 
pression from  the  precipitous  rock  of  the  Acropolis, 
elevated  500  feet,  and  the  Areopagus,  at  its  western 
verge,  the  Hill  of  Mars,  elevated  375  feet.  The  city 
is  built  upon  and  around  these  latter  hills,  and  covers 
a  large  surface,  while  about  five  miles  westward,  on 
the  Saronic  Gulf  is  its  port,  the  Piraeus.  Since  the 
establishment  of  the  seat  of  government  of  the  mod- 
ern Grecian  kingdom  at  Athens  it  has  had  much 
prosperity,  and  the  population  has  grown  to  about 
130,000.  It  is,  however,  the  ancient,  rather  than 


The  Acropolis,  Athens. 


THE  GRECIAN  CAPITAL  73 

the  modern  Athens,  which  the  visitor  seeks.  In  the 
view  of  the  famous  city  the  Acropolis  is  the  most 
prominent  object,  a  noble  mass  of  limestone  rock 
rising  precipitously,  and  having  its  flat  top  covered 
with  the  ruins  of  white  marble  temples.  There  i9 
nowhere  else  found,  in  so  small  a  space,  such  beau- 
tiful remains  of  the  highest  perfection  of  Grecian 
classic  art.  The  mythical  Pelasgians  are  tradition- 
ally said  to  have  levelled  the  summit,  increased  the 
steep  faces  of  the  rock  on  three  sides,  fortified  the 
western  approach,  and  built  a  wall  around  it.  From 
prehistoric  times  the  Acropolis  has  been  the  natural 
centre  of  all  settlements  on  the  Attic  plain.  It  is 
still  approached  by  the  splendid  entrance  temple  and 
colonnade,  on  the  western  side,  the  Propyl^a,  begun 
437  B.  C.,  with  its  wide  marble  steps,  five  entrance 
gateways,  and  range  of  statues  between  the  columned 
walls.  This  "  brilliant  jewel  on  the  front  of  the 
conspicuous  rocky  coronet  of  the  Athenian  Acropo- 
lis "  rivalled  the  Parthenon  in  Grecian  admiration, 
and  is  in  partial  preservation.  Within  the  entrance, 
and  behind  the  spreading  wings,  were  on  the  northern 
side  the  famous  chamber  of  the  Pinakotheka,  or 
Painted  Hall,  designed  for  votive  paintings,  and  on 
the  southern  side,  standing  on  a  massive  stone  bas- 
tion, the  Temple  of  Nike  Apteros,  or  the  Wingless 
Victory.  This  latter  has  been  partially  recon- 
structed, and  it  originally  enclosed  a  statue  of  the 
goddess.  There  were  also  sanctuaries  dedicated  to 


74  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Apollo  and  Pan,  the  latter  erected  by  the  Athenians 
in  gratitude  to  the  god  for  aiding  them  in  the  battle 
of  Marathon.  It  was  here  that  Euripedes  located 
the  scene  in  Ion  where  the  three  daughters  of 
Cecrops  dance  to  Pan's  music  from  the  pipe. 

The  Propylaea  was  fortified  by  the  Franks  and 
the  Turks,  the  former  erecting  the  "  Tower  of  the 
Franks  "  above  the  southern  wing,  which  tower  was 
removed  in  1875.  Extensive  Turkish  batteries  de- 
fending it  were  also  taken  away  by  the  Greeks. 
From  the  bastion,  on  the  western  verge  of  the  Tem- 
ple of  Nike  Apteros  there  is  a  superb  view  beyond 
the  town  and  harbor  of  the  Piraeus  and  the  wide 
spreading  isle  of  Salamis,  across  the  Saronic  Gulf, 
with  the  far-away  dome  of  Akro-Corinthe  and  its 
mountain  background  in  the  distance.  It  was  on 
this  rocky  elevation  that  aged  King  JEgeus  sat  to 
watch  for  the  return  of  his  son  Theseus  from  Crete. 
The  hero  unhappily  forgot  to  hoist  the  white  sails 
that  were  to  announce  his  conquest  of  the  Minotaur, 
and  the  old  king,  seeing  in  the  far-off  sea  the  black 
sails  of  the  returning  ship,  thought  his  son  was  slain, 
and  threw  himself  headlong  from  the  rock.  Byron 
describes  this  noble  view  in  the  Corsair: 

Slow  sinks,  more  lovely  ere  his  race  be  run, 

Along  Morea's  hills  the  setting  sun; 

Not,  as  in  northern  climes,  obscurely  bright, 

But  one  unclouded  blaze  of  living  light! 

O'er  the  hush'd  deep  the  yellow  beam  he  throws 

Gilds  the  green  wave,  that  trembles  as  it  glows. 


THE  GRECIAN  CAPITAL  75 

On  old  -<Egina's  rock  and  Idra's  isle 
The  god  of  gladness  sheds  his  parting  smile; 
O'er  his  own  regions  lingering,  loves  to  shine, 
Though  there  his  altars  are  no  more  divine. 
Descending  fast  the  mountain  shadows  kiss 
The  glorious  gulf,  unconquered  Salamis! 
Their  azure  arches  through  the  long  expanse 
More  deeply  purpled  meet  his  mellowing  glance, 
And  tenderest  tints,  along  their  summits  driven, 
Mark  his  gay  course  and  own  the  hues  of  heaven; 
Till,  doubly  shaded  from  the  land  and  deep, 
Behind  his  Delphian  cliff  he  sinks  to  sleep. 

Passing  through  the  Propylsea,  the  plateau  of  the 
Acropolis  is  entered,  with  its  splendid  array  of  ruins, 
the  Parthenon  on  the  right  and  the  Erechtheion  on 
the  left,  the  ground  everywhere  being  strewn  with 
fragments  and  remains  of  classic  marbles.  Here, 
originally,  were  many  statues,  shrines,  reliefs  and 
votive  offerings,  and  the  culminating  point  is 
crowned  by  the  most  perfect  monument  of  Grecian 
art  existing,  the  Parthenon,  towering  above  all 
others,  the  great  Temple  of  Minerva,  which  has  been 
described  as  "  the  finest  edifice  on  the  finest  site  in 
the  world."  It  was  begun  in  the  sixth  century  B.  C., 
destroyed  by  the  Persians,  and  rebuilt  in  marble  by 
Pericles,  between  447  and  438  B.  C.,  when  it  was 
opened  for  public  worship,  and  the  statue  of  Athena 
erected  in  the  Cella.  This  masterpiece  of  Phidias, 
known  as  the  "  chryselephantine  "  Minerva,  was  39^ 
feet  high,  with  drapery  of  solid  gold  and  flesh  of 
ivory,  the  goddess  holding  in  her  outstretched  hand 
an  image  of  Victory  (Kike).  The  statue  is  only  a 


76  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

tradition,  however,  for  long  ago  its  costly  mate- 
rials, valued  at  $800,000,  were  carried  off  by  plun- 
dering hordes.  The  platform  on  which  the  temple 
stands  is  228  by  101  feet,  and  from  it  rise  the  forty- 
six  Doric  columns  surrounding  and  making  the  outer 
framework.  These  columns  are  about  six  feet  in 
diameter,  narrowing  to  about  five  feet  at  the  top, 
and  thirty-five  feet  high,  eight  being  on  each  end 
and  the  others  on  the  sides  of  the  temple.  They 
swell  slightly  in  the  middle,  taper  toward  the  top, 
and  are  gracefully  fluted.  Around  the  temple  ran 
a  frieze  of  ornamental  sculpture,  much  of  which, 
known  as  the  "  Elgin  marbles,"  was  taken  away  by 
the  Earl  of  Elgin,  and  is  now  in  the  British  Museum. 
Other  portions  are  in  the  Acropolis  Museum,  while 
the  western  sculptures  remain  in  position,  and  there 
are  a  few  on  the  southern  side.  This  frieze,  524 
feet  in  length,  represents  a  procession  giving  in  de- 
tail the  progress  and  glory  of  Athens,  in  the  service 
of  the  goddess,  and  is  regarded  as  the  best  work  of 
Phidias. 

The  festival  of  the  Panathensea  was  celebrated 
every  four  years,  and  culminated  in  the  procession 
from  the  city  to  the  Parthenon,  where  the  richly 
embroidered  saffron  peplos,  or  robe,  was  presented  to 
the  goddess  in  an  elaborate  ceremonial.  Opened  by 
the  P-anathensean  festival  of  438  B.  C.,  and  then 
consecrated  to  Minerva,  the  Parthenon  was  kept 
sacred  to  her.  for  over  six  centuries.  About  the  fifth 


THE  GRECIAN  CAPITAL  77 

century  A.  D.  it  became  the  Christian  church  of 
St.  Mary,  and  when  the  Turks  came,  in  the  fifteenth 
century,  they  made  it  a  mosque,  building  a  minaret 
at  the  southwestern  corner.  In  1687  the  Venetians 
captured  the  town,  and  the  Turks,  retreating  to  the 
Acropolis,  stored  their  powder  in  the  Parthenon. 
The  Venetians  bombarded  it,  and  on  September  26th 
a  bomb  ignited  the  powder  and  the  building  was 
blown  up,  300  Turks  losing  their  lives  in  the  ex- 
plosion and  a  capitulation  following.  The  Turks 
regained  possession  the  next  year,  and  built  a  smaller 
mosque  on  the  ruins.  At  the  beginning  of  the  nine- 
teenth century  Lord  Elgin  was  British  ambassador 
to  Constantinople,  and  procured  a  Turkish  firman 
authorizing  the  removal  of  "  a  few  blocks  of  stone 
with  inscriptions  and  figures."  Putting  several  hun- 
dred laborers  at  work,  he  removed  the  greater  part 
of  the  frieze,  pediments  and  metopes,  taking  them 
to  England,  at  a  cost  of  $250,000,  the  British  gov- 
ernment, in  1816,  buying  them  for  $175,000  for  the 
British  Museum,  making  its  most  valuable  possession. 
This  removal  gave  a  shock  to  Lord  Byron,  who  de- 
nounced it  in  his  poem,  the  Curse  of  Minerva,  writ- 
ten in  March,  1811,  but  afterward  suppressed,  and 
not  published  until  1828,  after  Byron's  death. 
There  has  been  no  complete  restoration  of  the  Par- 
thenon, only  a  few  repairs,  and  patching  of  three 
broken  columns,  so  that  the  splendid  ruin,  as  we  now 
see  it,  is  the  survival  of  the  explosion  of  1687. 


78  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  Erechtheion,  to  the  northward,  almost  at  the 
edge  of  the  plateau,  was  a  smaller  building,  on  a 
lower  level.  This  temple  was  founded  by  Erech- 
theus,  the  adopted  son  of  the  goddess  Athena,  on  the 
site  where  she  victoriously  contended  with  Poseidon 
for  the  possession  of  Athens.  In  the  ancient  shrine 
was  the  "  gnarled  olive  tree,"  which  the  goddess 
made  to  grow,  and  also  the  impression  made  by 
Poseidon's  trident,  in  producing  the  wonder-work- 
ing salt-water  spring.  The  Persians  burnt  the  tem- 
ple in  the  fifth  century  B.  C.,  destroying  the  olive 
tree,  but  it  put  forth  a  new  shoot,  a  few  feet  long, 
two  days  afterward.  The  temple  was  rebuilt  later, 
and  was  used  for  a  mausoleum.  The  sepulchre  of 
Cecrops  occupied  the  crypt,  and  here  were  the  shrines 
of  Athena  and  other  deities.  It  contained  the  sacred 
olive-wood  statue  of  Athena,  that  fell  from  Heaven, 
and  before  which  burnt  the  golden  lamp  of  Calli- 
machus,  with  its  everlasting  wick  of  asbestos,  kept 
ignited  day  and  night  and  trimmed  only  once  a 
year.  This  temple  also  became  a  Christian  church, 
and  subsequently  was  a  Turkish  harem.  It  has 
been  partially  restored,  although  one  of  the  Ionic 
columns  was  carried  off  by  Lord  Elgin.  The  eastern 
and  northern  porticos  were  each  upheld  by  six  Ionic 
columns,  and  the  southern  portico  of  the  Caryatides 
was  supported  by  six  figures  of  maidens  standing 
on  a  parapet.  One  of  these  is  now  reproduced  in 
terra  cotta,  Lord  Elgin  having  removed  the  original. 


THE  GRECIAN  CAPITAL  79 

There  was  no  western  portico,  but  instead  a  lateral 
vestibule  on  each  side,  forming  a  sort  of  transept. 
This  temple  was  about  66  feet  long  and  37  feet  wide, 
standing  on  a  basement  of  three  steps.  Adjoining 
it  to  the  southward  was  the  palace  of  Erechtheus, 
and  here  was  built  an  ancient  temple  to  Athena,  the 
Hekatompedon,  of  which  recent  excavations  have 
disclosed  the  foundation  walls.  At  the  intersection 
of  the  northern  and  eastern  walls  of  the  Acropolis 
a  Belvedere  is  constructed,  giving  a  splendid  view 
over  modern  Athens,  while  near  the  southeastern 
corner  is  a  museum  where  many  of  the  sculptured 
remains  are  exhibited.  It  is  noteworthy  that,  in 
their  original  glory,  all  the  temples  of  the  Acropolis, 
as  well  as  those  of  the  Asty,  as  the  lower  town  was 
called,  were  gorgeously  tinted,  the  artistic  chiselling 
being  brilliantly  displayed  by  delicate  and  strong 
coloring.  The  statues  and  sculptures  were  all  painted 
in  the  resemblance  of  living  human  beauty  of  the 
best  type.  The  elaborate  draperies  were  bedecked 
with  burnished  gold.  In  the  Elgin  marbles  of  the 
Parthenon  frieze  are  seen  the  holes  where  the  metal 
weapons  were  fastened  and  the  golden  chain  bridles 
were  hung.  Costly  jewelry  also  decorated  some  of 
the  statues.  Untold  wealth-  was  lavished  on  these 
ornaments,  but  long  ago  the  invading  hordes  had 
stolen  it  all. 

The  lower  hill  of  the  Areopagus  is  west  of  the 
Acropolis,  separated  by  a  depression.     Here  sat  the 


80  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

ancient  court  of  eminent  citizens,  who  held  supreme 
jurisdiction  in  capital  cases,  and  in  a  fissure,  at  the 
northeastern  base,  was  the  shrine  of  the  Furies,  the 
"  avenging  deities  of  blood."  This  Hill  of  Mars  is 
said  to  have  been  the  spot  where  St.  Paul,  54  A.  D., 
delivered  the  address  to  the  men  of  Athens,  described 
in  The  Acts  of  the  Apostles,  and  near  it  are  the  ruins 
of  a  Christian  church  that  was  dedicated  to  Dio- 
nysius  the  Areopagite,  his  first  convert  in  Athens. 
Around  the  western  base  of  this  hill  ran  the  old 
road  connecting  the  Acropolis  with  the  public  mar- 
ketplace, the  "  Hill  of  the  Market,"  the  great  as- 
sembly ground  of  ancient  Athens,  surrounded  by 
important  structures.  Here  is  the  Theseum,  or 
Temple  of  Theseus,  the  most  complete  specimen 
now  remaining  of  a  Greek  temple,  which  has  sur- 
vived for  more  than  twenty  centuries.  It  is  104  by 
41  feet,  surrounded  by  a  Doric  colonnade  of  six 
columns  at  each  end  and  thirteen  on  each  side.  They 
are  nineteen  feet  high  and  more  slender  than  those 
of  the  Parthenon.  A  Doric  frieze,  partially  sculp- 
tured, surrounds  the  building.  There  are  reliefs, 
much  weather-worn,  depicting  the  labors  of  Hercules 
and  the  achievements  of  Theseus.  This  temple  was 
used  as  a  Christian  church,  and  during  the  Turkish 
rule  it  became  a  burial  place  for  Englishmen. 

The  lower  town  presents  other  interesting  remains. 
Beyond  the  base  of  the  Acropolis  stands  the  Arch  of 
Hadrian,  erected  by  the  Romans,  an  archway  twenty 


Mars'  Hill,  Athens. 


THE  GRECIAN  CAPITAL  81 

feet  wide,  in  a  gateway  sixty  feet  high  and  forty- 
four  feet  wide.  It  was  built  to  divide  the  old 
Grecian  city  from  the  newer  Roman  settlement,  its 
inscriptions  reciting  on  the  one  side  — "  This  is 
Athens,  the  old  city  of  Theseus,"  and  on  the  other, 
"  This  is.  the  city  of  Hadrian  and  not  of  Theseus." 
Through  this  archway  passes  the  road  from  the 
Acropolis  to  the  Olympieion,  toward  the  southeast, 
the  Temple  of  Jupiter  Olympus,  constructed  during 
Hadrian's  reign,  of  which  remain  only  fifteen  mas- 
sive Corinthian  columns  and  a  few  fragments  above 
them.  This  temple,  dedicated  in  the  second  cen- 
tury, originally  had  one  hundred  and  four  columns, 
in  double  rows  on  the  sides  and  triple  rows  on  the 
ends,  each  being  about  fifty-six  feet  high.  It  was 
one  of  the  largest  Grecian  temples  existing,  354  by 
134  feet,  containing  a  huge  statue  of  Jupiter. 
Deeply  recessed  below  the  southern  front  of  this  ruin 
flows  the  little  brook  Ilissos,  and  here  the  water- 
courses from  the  upper  town  originally  found  their 
outlet,  the  legend  being  that  this  was  the  place  where 
the  last  waters  of  the  deluge  disappeared,  so  that 
the  foundation  of  the  earliest  structure  on  the  site 
was  attributed  to  the  gratitude  of  Deucalion,  the 
Grecian  ]SToah  and  the  progenitor  of  the  new  race 
of  men.  The  narrow  Ilissos  dries  up  in  summer, 
but  sometimes  is  a  torrent.  Its  banks  are  given  as 
the  scene  of  the  abduction  of  Oristhyia,  daughter  of 

King    Erechtheus,    who,    while    she    was    gathering 
VOL.  II— 6 


82  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

flowers,  so  captivated  rude  Boreas  that  he  carried 
her  off  to  his  far  northern  home.  Westward  of  the 
Arch  of  Hadrian,  and  nearer  the  Acropolis,  is  the 
monument  of  Lysikrates,  a  dilapidated  but  beautiful 
little  circular  temple  erected  to  this  hero,  who  was 
the  leader  when  the  boy-chorus  of  the  tribe  of  Aka- 
mantis  won  the  prize.  It  was  built  in  the  fourth 
century  B.  C.,  and  is  said  to  be  the  oldest  structure 
existing  of  the  Corinthian  order.  It  was  long  used 
as  the  library  of  a  convent.  This  cylinder,  sur- 
rounded by  Corinthian  columns,  is  thirty-four  feet 
high  and  nine  feet  in  diameter.  The  Theatre  of 
Dionysos,  where  the  most  famous  Greek  plays  were 
exhibited,  was  at  the  southern  base  of  the  Acropolis, 
and  partly  constructed  on  the  slope  of  the  hill,  where, 
in  a  semicircle  of  150  feet  radius,  the  rows  of  seats 
were  provided,  with  the  orchestra  and  stage  extend- 
ing on  the  lower  ground  in  front.  Dionysos  was 
the  inventor  of  the  wine-press,  and  the  theatre  was 
named  in  his  honor,  as  it  was  built  in  the  precinct 
of  Bacchus,  whose  cult  was  associated  with  stage 
performances.  This  theatre  was  covered  with  rub- 
bish until  1862,  when  some  traces  were  discovered, 
and  it  has  since  been  excavated. 

The  Athenian  Stadium  is  westward  from  the  Tem- 
ple of  Jupiter,  laid  out  in  a  natural  hollow,  and 
was  originated  by  Lycurgus,  who  built  it  B.  C.  330, 
and  about  the  same  time  completed  the  theatre.  The 
Stadium  was  subsequently  constructed  in  white  Pen- 


THE  GRECIAN  CAPITAL  83 

telic  marble,  about  140  A.  D.,  by  Herodes  Atticus, 
a  Roman,  who  spent  a  large  fortune  in  adorning 
Athens.  This  Stadium  is  676  feet  long  and  109 
feet  broad,  and  it  has  accommodations  for  fifty  thou- 
sand spectators.  The  actual  length  of  the  course  is 
584  feet.  In  1870  excavations  were  begun,  and  it 
has  been  completely  restored  by  the  munificence  of 
M.  Averoff,  a  wealthy  Greek  merchant  of  Alexan- 
dria. Here  were  revived  the  ancient  Olympian 
games  in  1896,  the  scene  being  transferred  from 
Olympia  to  Athens.  In  1906  the  latest  festival  be- 
gan on  April  22  and  continued  ten  days,  during 
which  the  city  was  overflowing  with  visitors.  The 
opening  was  attended  by  King  Edward  and  Queen 
Alexandra  of  England  and  King  George  and  Queen 
Olga  of  Greece.  The  programme  was  very  compre- 
hensive, and  was  participated  in  by  competitors,  not 
only  of  Greece,  but  of  all  nations,  these  participants 
marching  around  the  Stadium  on  the  opening  day 
in  a  procession  numbering  nearly  nine  hundred,  in- 
cluding various  lady  gymnasts.  The  great  event, 
the  running  race  from  Marathon  to  Athens,  twenty- 
six  miles,  was  won  by  Sherring,  a  Canadian.  The 
Americans  won  most  prizes,  scoring  74,  England  be- 
ing second  with  39,  and  Greece  third  with  30.  The 
Marathon  race  was  witnessed  by  150,000  spectators 
along  the  route,  and  the  victor  received  as  a  prize 
a  beautiful  statue  of  Minerva.  The  Grecian  cham- 
pion Koutoulakis  was  the  popular  favorite,  and  had 


84  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

taken  the  holy  sacrament,  with  an  oath  that  he  would 
win  or  die,  but  though  unsuccessful  he  happily  sur- 
vived the  defeat.  The  ceremony  closed  on  May  2, 
with  a  grand  dinner  given  by  King  George  to  the 
officials,  judges  and  victors,  four  hundred  persons  at- 
tending. 

Athens,  as  we  see  it  now,  is  mainly  a  growth  of 
the  last  half  of  the  nineteenth  century.  When  it 
became  the  capital  of  the  modern  Kingdom  of  Hellas, 
in  1834,  it  had  few  houses  and  but  small  popula- 
tion. Its  handsome  public  buildings  are  of  modern 
creation,  and  it  covers  a  surface  which  was  but 
sparsely  occupied  in  the  ancient  days.  The  Place 
de  la  Constitution,  northeast  from  the  Acropolis,  is 
its  centre,  and  upon  this  fronts  the  royal  palace,  a 
large  building  of  Pentelic  marble  and  limestone, 
erected  in  1834,  adorned  by  a  Doric  colonnade,  and 
having  spacious  gardens  stretching  southward  toward 
the  vale  of  the  Ilissos.  To  the  northwest  of  the 
Place  de  la  Constitution  are  the  Parliament  House 
and  other  government  buildings.  Xot  far  away  is 
Dr.  Schliemann's  "  Palace  of  Troy,"  long  his  home, 
and  still  occupied  by  his  family.  The  Academy  of 
Sciences  and  the  university  have  spacious  buildings 
to  the  northward,  the  latter  attended  by  2,500 
students.  The  new  library,  adjacent,  has  250,000 
volumes  and  many  valuable  manuscripts.  The  hill 
of  Lycabettos  forms  a  noble  background  to  these 
stately  buildings.  Farther  northward  are  the  Poly- 


THE  GRECIAN  CAPITAL  S5 

technic  School  and  the  National  Archaeological  Mu- 
seum, the  latter  containing  a  splendid  collection  of 
antiquities.  Upon  the  top  of  Lycabettos  is  to  be 
erected  a  noble  monument  to  the  heroes  who  fell  in 
the  revolution  which  delivered  Greece  from  Turkish 
domination,  the  hill  being  made  a  tree-planted  park 
with  a  railroad  encircling  it  and  ascending  to  the 
summit.  This  work  is  expected  to  be  completed  and 
the  monument  dedicated  at  the  centenary  of  Grecian 
independence  in  1921. 

Some  distance  to  the  northwest  is  the  flat-topped 
hill  of  Kolonos,  where  Sophocles  had  his  olive-en- 
vironed home,  whence  he  looked  out  upon  a  lovely 
view  of  the  Acropolis  and  Athens.  To  the  south- 
ward of  this  hill  was  the  famous  olive  grove  of 
Academia,  named  after  its  owner  Akademos,  dedi- 
cated to  Athena,  and  the  favorite  resort  of  Plato  and 
other  philosophers.  From  this  grove,  thus  early  de- 
voted to  science  and  philosophy,  came  the  modern 
term  of  academy.  Of  this  noted  district  Sophocles 
gave  description : 

Friend,  in  our  land  of  victor  steeds  thou  art  come 
To  this  Heaven  fostered  haunt,  Earth's  fairest  home, 

Gleaming  Kolonos,  where  the  nightingale 
In  cool,  green  covert  warbleth  ever  clear, 
True  to  the  deep-flushed  ivy  and  the  dear 
Divine,   impenetrable  shade, 
From  wildered  boughs  and  myriad  fruitage  made, 

Sunless  at  noon,   stormless   in  every  gale 
Wood-roving  Bacchus  there,  with  mazy  round, 
And  his  nymph  muses  range  the  unoffended  ground. 


86  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  history  of  Athens,  opening  in  mythical  times, 
is  substantially  the  history  of  Greece.  Cecrops  was 
the  first  king,  then  Erechtheus,  Pandian,  ^Egeus  and 
Theseus,  under  whose  guidance,  as  narrated  by 
Thucydides,  Athens  emerged  into  the  historic  era, 
and  to  mark  his  reign,  which  brought  all  the  tribes 
of  Attica  under  the  Athenian  rule,  the  festival  of  the 
Panathenaea  was  instituted.  After  the  kings,  in  the 
eleventh  century  B.  C.  the  rulers  were  Archons,  and 
they  were  followed  by  other  governing  powers. 
Draco  made  his  code  of  laws,  621  B.  C.  and  Solon  be- 
came Archon  in  594.  Peisistratos  followed,  and 
then  his  sons  Hippias  and  Hipparchos.  The  latter 
was  assassinated,  and  the  former  expelled,  by  Spar- 
tan aid  four  years  later,  510  B.  C.  Then  came  the 
war  with  Darius  of  Persia,  and  the  dawn  of  the 
Athenian  navy,  resulting  in  the  Persian  invasion, 
and  their  defeat  at  Marathon,  490  B.  C.,  and  the 
second  Persian  invasion  by  Xerxes,  and  their  capture 
of  Athens,  but  defeat  in  the  naval  victory  at  Salamis 
480  B.  C.,  and  subsequent  battle  at  Platsea  479  B. 
C.  Themistocles  and  Aristides  were  then  the  lead- 
ers, the  PiraBus  was  made  the  harbor,  and  the  Long 
Walls  built  between  it  and  the  city.  Afterward 
came  the  golden  age  of  Athens  under  Pericles,  with 
the  construction  of  the  Parthenon,  the  Propylsea  and 
the  Erechtheion.  Pericles  died  by  the  plague  in 
429  B.  C.,  the  Peloponnesian  war  was  carried  on 
for  many  years,  and  Athens  declined.  Thucydides, 


THE  NEIGHBORHOOD  OF  ATHENS  87 

Alcibiades  and  Demosthenes  were  among  the  noted 
Athenians  of  this  time,  also  Euripides,  Aristophanes, 
Hippocrates,  Herodotus,  Sophocles  and  Socrates, 
who  died  in  399  B.  C.,  while  Plato  lived  here  later, 
dying  347  B.  C.  Macedonia  subsequently  ruled 
Athens,  under  Philip  and  Alexander,  and  this  era 
was  followed  by  the  domination  of  Rome,  when 
Athens,  in  the  second  century  of  our  era,  under  Ha- 
drian and  his  successors,  had  a  new  period  of  pros- 
perity. Then  came  the  overrunning  of  Greece  by  the 
barbarians  and  the  Gothic  rule,  while  subsequently 
Athens  was  subject  to  Byzantium.  Other  invaders 
followed,  and  ultimately  the  Turks  captured  Athens, 
in  1456,  holding  it  until  the  Grecian  war  of  inde- 
pendence, when  the  Greeks  captured  the  Acropolis 
in  1821,  but  were  besieged  again  by  the  Turks,  and 
capitulated  after  a  heroic  resistance  in  June,  1827. 
It  was  not  until  the  intervention  of  the  European 
powers  in  1833  that  the  Turks  finally  evacuated 
this  famous  citadel.  Athens  has  since  enjoyed  peace 
as  the  Grecian  capital,  and  has  had  constantly  grow- 
ing prosperity. 

THE    NEIGHBORHOOD    OF    ATHENS. 

The  people  of  Athens  take  their  sea  bathing  at  the 
villages  on  the  Bay  of  Phaleron,  to  the  southeastward, 
adjoining  their  port  of  the  Piraeus.  The  latter  town 
is  of  modern  growth,  its  present  harbor,  quays  and 
buildings  having  been  entirely  constructed  since 


88  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Athens  became  the  capital.  There  is  a  large  trade 
constantly  growing,  and  the  port  has  a  population 
of  about  80,000.  The  Persian  wars  created  the 
Athenian  navy,  and  this  made  them  think  of  a  port 
on  the  nearest  coast,  the  Bay  of  Phaleron,  where 
there  is  a  good  roadstead.  Themistocles  began  the 
ancient  harbor,  and  founded  the  navy,  using  for  the 
latter  the  revenues  of  the  silver  mines  of  Laurion, 
while  Pericles  completed  the  ancient  port,  of  which 
the  Athenians  were  very  proud.  Its  fortifications 
and  ship  houses  were  destroyed  by  Sulla,  in  the  first 
century  B.  C.,  and  it  slumbered  in  neglect  and  deso- 
lation until  revived  in  1835.  There  have  been  dis- 
closed many  remains  of  the  old  buildings,  walls,  and 
ship  houses,  and  also  the  circular  tomb  of  Themisto- 
cles, down  by  the  shore.  This  statesman  is  said  by 
Plutarch  to  have  originated  a  saying,  which  ever 
since,  in  all  races  and  all  languages,  under  various 
guises,  has  been  a  universal  proverb.  He  said  that 
his  son,  who  knew  how  to  wheedle  his  mother,  was 
the  most  powerful  man  in  Greece,  "  for,"  said  he, 
"  the  Athenians  rule  the  Hellenes,  I  rule  the  Athe- 
nians, your  mother  rules  me,  and  you  rule  your 
mother." 

'Off  this  coast,  and  rising  into  rugged  hills,  spreads 
the  spacious  island  of  Salamis,  originally  settled  by 
the  Phosnicians,  and  deriving  its  name  from  Shalam, 
meaning  "  peace  "  or  "  rest."  Homer  describes  it 
as  the  home  of  Ajax,  and  Solon  got  possession  for 


THE  NEIGHBORHOOD  OF  ATHENS  89 

Athens  in  the  sixth  century  B.  C.  It  is  separated 
from  the  mainland  by  the  Strait  of  Salamis,  encir- 
cling the  jutting  shore  to  the  northward  of  the 
Piraeus,  and  here  was  the  scene  of  the  great  naval 
battle,  in  which  the  Greeks,  480  B.  C.,  defeated  the 
Persians.  On  the  mainland  shore  is  a  hill,  still 
called  the  "  Throne  of  Xerxes,"  which  is  said  to  be 
the  "  rocky  brow  "  where  he  sat  in  his  silver-footed 
chair  to  watch  the  battle.  The  Greeks  defeated  the 
Persians,  destroyed  three  hundred  of  their  triremes, 
and  the  invasion  by  Xerxes,  thus  checked,  was  re- 
pelled in  the  subsequent  year  at  Plataea.  Aristides, 
who  had  been  recalled  from  banishment,  was  a  leader 
in  this  victory,  and  ^Eschylus,  who  took  part  in  it, 
told  its  story  in  a  tragedy,  performed  eight  years 
later  in  the  Athenian  Theatre  of  Dionysos.  Upon 
Salamis  is  now  the  naval  arsenal,  and  it  is  the  chief 
station  of  the  Greek  navy.  In  October,  1909,  this 
arsenal  was  seized  by  Lieutenant  Tibaldos  and  the 
crews  of  his  torpedo  flotilla,  of  eight  small  vessels, 
who  had  mutinied  because  of  dissatisfaction  with  the 
government  at  Athens  for  abandoning  the  Grecian 
claim  on  Crete,  at  the  behest  of  the  European  powers. 
They  only  held  the  arsenal  a  few  hours,  however. 
Troops  and  a  battery  sent  from  Athens,  drove  them 
out,  one  of  the  torpedo  boats  was  sunk,  and  Tibaldos 
with  the  others  sailed  away.  He  disappeared,  and 
the  boats  soon  surrendered.  Four  British  warships 
were  sent  to  the  Piraeus  in  consequence  of  this  revolt, 


90  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

which  for  a  time  looked  portentous,  but  their  inter- 
vention was  not  needed. 

The  Strait  of  Salamis  broadens  out  northward 
into  the  spacious  and  almost  circular  Bay  of  Eleusis, 
and  on  its  farther  shore  is  the  little  village  that  was 
the  home  of  ^Eschylus  and  the  seat  of  the  famous 
"  Eleusinian  Mysteries,"  that  flourished  for  more 
than  a  thousand  years,  until  the  fourth  century  of 
our  era.  These,  which  are  believed  to  have  repro- 
duced a  worship  that  antedated  the  Grecian  mythol- 
ogy, were  based  on  devotion  to  the  goddess  Demeter 
(Ceres).  Her  daughter  Proserpine  having  been  car- 
ried off  by  Pluto,  Demeter,  according  to  the  legend, 
sought  Proserpine's  recovery,  and  in  the  course  of 
her  search  arrived  in  the  guise  of  an  old  woman  at 
Eleusis,  being  well  received  by  Keleos,  the  king.  As 
she  was  the  goddess  of  husbandry,  she  repaid  the 
kindness  by  teaching  his  son  Triptolemos  the  art  of 
agriculture,  and  gave  him  seed-corn  to  plant.  The 
memory  of  the  gift,  which  symbolized  the  develop- 
ment of  mankind  from  nomadic  life  to  the  duties  of 
a  well-ordered  community,  was  celebrated  in  two 
Eleusinian  festivals,  in  the  spring  and  autumn,  rep- 
resenting the  growth  and  the  decay  of  nature.  An- 
other part  of  the  legend  was  that  Proserpine  was 
afterward  allowed  to  spend  two-thirds  of  the  year 
with  her  mother,  and  during  the  remaining  time  she 
dwelt  in  the  subterranean  home  of  Pluto,  like  the 
seed-corn  in  the  ground.  Only  the  Mysti,  or  initi- 


THE  NEIGHBORHOOD  OF  ATHENS  91 

ated,  were  allowed  to  participate  in  the  festivals,  a 
feature  of  which  was  the  solemn  torchlight  proces- 
sion, leaving  Athens  on  the  evening  of  the  fifth  day, 
that  marched  along  the  "  Sacred  Way  "  to  Eleusis. 
There  are  traces  still  remaining  of  this  "  Sacred 
Way  "  on  the  route  from  the  capital,  particularly  at 
a  mountain  pass,  where  niches  for  statues  and  in- 
scriptions have  been  laid  bare  in  bordering  cliffs. 
Cicero,  who  was  one  of  the  Mysti,  has  written  that 
the  mysteries  taught  "  not  only  to  live  happily,  but 
to  die  with  a  fairer  hope."  There  is  shown  at 
Eleusis  the  fountain  where  Homer  says  the  Eleusin- 
ian  women  danced  to  music.  The  "  Great  Temple 
of  the  Mysteries  "  has  been  fully  disclosed,  and  its 
ruins  show  elaborate  construction.  It  was  destroyed 
in  the  Persian  invasions,  restored  by  the  Romans, 
and  again  destroyed  by  the  Goths  in  the  fourth  cen- 
tury A.  D.  It  stood  on  a  plateau,  above  which  rises 
the  Acropolis  of  Eleusis,  where  was  the  old  time  cita- 
del. This  famous  place  is  now  represented  only  by 
a  small  village  and  some  remnants  of  the  moles  form- 
ing the  ancient  harbor. 

Up  in  the  mountains  toward  the  northeast  is  the 
noted  fortress  of  Phyle,  at  2,250  feet  elevation, 
which  commanded  the  passes  between  Attica  and 
Boeotia.  The  massive  walls  and  several  towers  sur- 
vive, enclosing  a  small  oval  plateau,  and  the  principal 
entrance  was  so  contrived  that  the  approaching  foe, 
on  the  narrow  road,  was  at  the  mercy  of  the  garrison, 


92  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

who  could  assail  his  right  flank.  From  the  walls 
there  is  a  splendid  view  southward  over  Attica  and 
the  sea,  but  higher  mountains  enclose  the  northern 
side,  and  thus  commanded  the  fortress.  Sparta  con- 
quered Athens  in  404  B.  C.,  razed  the  fortifications, 
and  put  in  power  the  aristocratic  "  Thirty  Tyrants," 
who  expelled  the  gallant  Thrasybulus  from  the  city, 
and  the  hero  retired  to  Phyle  with  seventy  comrades, 
resisted  the  tyrants,  and  collected  a  strong  band  of 
followers,  who  sought  an  alliance  with  the  democracy 
of  the  Piraeus.  In  this  way  Thrasybulus  was  en- 
abled to  control  the  Piraeus,  and  being  thus  rein- 
forced, he  drove  the  "  Thirty  Tyrants  "  from  Athens 
in  403  B.  C.,  becoming  master  of  the  Attic  plain. 

To  the  eastward  of  Athens  is  the  long  and  almost 
treeless  ridge  of  Mount  Hymettos,  beautiful  but  al- 
most barren,  rising  nearly  3,400  feet,  and  falling  off 
abruptly,  on  its  far  eastern  slope,  to  the  lower  ter- 
races nearer  the  sea.  Its  bluish-gray  marble  was 
used  by  the  ancients  for  their  buildings,  and  one  of 
the  old  quarries  is  yet  visible.  They  also  enjoyed  the 
famous  "  honey  of  Hymettos,"  which  continued  to  be 
used  as  a  name,  though  most  of  the  honey  thus  desig- 
nated, and  highly  prized  in  Athens,  comes  from  other 
places  in  Attica.  The  roads  leading  eastward  from 
Athens  go  around  the  northern  base  of  Hymettos, 
and  through  a  depression  between  it  and  the  noted 
Pentelikon  Mountain,  which  is  farther  to  the  north- 
east, its  summit  elevated  3,640  feet  and  having 


THE  NEIGHBORHOOD  OF  ATHENS  93 

on  its  southwestern  slope  the  richest  monastic  es- 
tablishment of  Attica,  the  Penteli  convent.  On 
this  slope  are  the  quarries,  yet  worked,  which  yielded 
the  valuable  Pentelic  marble,  used  by  the  Greeks 
both  for  buildings  and  sculptures.  There  remain 
the  drums  of  a  few  columns,  anciently  taken  out, 
and  still  awaiting  transportation,  and  traces  of 
the  inclined  planes  are  seen  upon  which  the 
blocks,  in  the  early  times,  were  brought  down  the 
mountain  slope.  This  marble  is  fine  grained  and 
colored  a  brilliant  -white  with  a  yellowish  tinge, 
due  to  iron,  which  gives  in  time  a  rich  golden  hue. 
A  signal  tower  is  now  on  the  summit  where  stood 
formerly  a  statue  of  Athena.  There  is  a  grand 
view  all  around  the  horizon,  with  the  plain  and 
Bay  of  Marathon  at  the  base  of  the  mountain,  to 
the  eastward.  This  plain,  where  the  great  battle 
was  fought,  was  once  covered  by  the  sea,  but  as  Byron 
suggests,  now  looks  out  upon  it,  and  is  splendidly  en- 
vironed by  the  semicircle  of  mountains,  upon  the 
slopes  of  which  the  whole  ancient  Grecian  population 
might  have  been  seated  as  in  a  theatre  to  watch  the 
fight.  It  was  at  Pikermi,  in  the  foothills  here,  on 
the  road  to  Marathon,  that  the  last  important  out- 
break of  brigandage  in  Greece  occurred,  in  April, 
1870,  an  Italian  and  three  Englishmen  being  shot 
by  the  bandits. 

The  mountains  look  on  Marathon 
And  Marathon  looks  on  the  sea ; 


94  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

And  musing  there  an  hour  alone 

I  dreamed,  that  Greece  might  still  be  free. 

Thus  sang  Byron  in  Don  Juan,  and  the  visitor 
recognizes  the  fidelity  of  his  description.  Coming 
out  of  the  defile,  it  is  seen  that  the  semicircular  Bay 
of  Marathon  is  bordered  by  an  extensive  plain  and 
marsh  on  its  northwestern  and  northern  shores,  and 
from  these  ascend  two  intervales  into  the  encircling 
hills.  In  the  middle  of  the  flat  plain,  and  about  a 
half  mile  from  the  sea,  rises  the  "  Soros,"  an  isolated 
knoll,  about  six  hundred  feet  in  circumference  and 
forty  feet  high,  overgrown  with  brushwood.  In  Sep- 
tember, 490  B.  C.,  the  Persians  had  landed  on  the 
shores  of  the  bay,  and  were  preparing  to  march  south- 
ward to  Athens.  The  Athenians,  10,000  strong,  un- 
der Miltiades,  were  in  the  northwestern  intervale 
upon  their  flank.  For  several  days  the  Persians 
hesitated  to  march,  fearing  the  Athenian  attack, 
when  Miltiades  began  the  battle  by  a  stratagem,  hav- 
ing a  weak  Grecian  centre  and  two  strong  wings. 
Herodotus  tells  how  the  centre  boldly  charged  the 
enemy,  were  defeated  and  pursued,  and  then  how  the 
wings,  the  Athenians  on  the  one  side  and  the  Pla- 
tseans  on  the  other,  enfolded  the  pursuing  Persians 
and  defeated  them.  The  defeat  was  made  a  rout; 
the  fleeing  Persians  were  chased  into  the  marsh  and 
to  their  ships.  The  Persian  loss  was  6,400,  while 
192  Athenians  were  slain  and  buried  on  the  field, 
over  their  graves  being  raised  the  mound  of  the 


THE  NEIGHBORHOOD  OF  ATHENS  95 

"  Soros."     A  similar  mound  raised  over  the  graves 
of  the  Platseans  has  entirely  disappeared. 

Southward  from  Salamis,  in  the  Saronic  Gulf,  is 
the  Island  of  ^Egina,  presenting  on  all  sides  but  the 
westward  abrupt  cliffs  to  the  sea.  The  ancient  port 
of  ^Egina  is  on  this  western  coast,  which  slopes  gently 
to  the  water,  and  it  is  now  a  village  of  about  five 
thousand  people,  mostly  fishermen  and  husbandmen, 
its  best  known  industry  being  diving  for  sponges 
during  spring  and  summer.  The  summit  of  the 
island,  the  Oros,  now  called  Mount  St.  Elias,  is  ele- 
vated 1,742  feet,  and  a  conspicuous  object  on  a  lower 
but  isolated  promontory  on  its  side  is  the  group  of 
columns  remaining  of  the  Temple  of  Aphaea,  nearer 
the  sea.  Around  the  Oros,  which  is  the  most  promi- 
nent elevation  in  the  Saronic  Gulf,  the  clouds  always 
gather  before  a  rain.  We  are  told  that  King  JEakos, 
son  of  Zeus,  the  legendary  ancestor  of  the  people  of 
this  island,  besought  his  father,  after  a  long  drought, 
to  send  rain,  and  when  the  prayer  was  granted,  the 
clouds  came  around  the  summit,  and  have  always 
since  done  so.  In  gratitude,  an  altar  was  erected  to 
Zeus  on  the  mountain,  and  relics  of  the  old  walls  re- 
main, there  being  a  magnificent  view.  Recent  exca- 
vations have  disclosed  the  remains  of  a  city  on  the 
summit,  and  various  bronzes  and  sculptured  figures 
have  been  found.  ^Eakos,  on  account  of  his  wise 
government,  was  made  one  of  the  judges  in  the 
nether  world.  The  Dorians  were  the  first  historic 


96  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

settlers,  and  in  the  sixth  century  B.  C.,  the  island, 
through  its  extensive  commerce,  had  attained  great 
prosperity,  its  merchants  then  being  the  richest 
among  the  Greeks,  and  its  coinage,  stamped  with  a 
tortoise,  widely  circulating.  Exciting  the  jealousy 
of  Athens,  it  was  captured,  after  a  long  siege,  B.  C. 
456,  and  later  the  people  were  expelled.  ^Egina 
never  regained  prosperity.  There  are  remains  of  the 
moles  that  formed  the  ancient  harbor,  but  the  Temple 
of  Apha?a  is  the  chief  ruin.  It  was  a  Grecian  temple 
of  the  fifth  century  B.  C.,  of  which  about  twenty  col- 
umns are  still  standing.  There  are  sculptures  taken 
from  this  temple  in  the  museums  of  Munich  and 
Athens,  and  various  fragments  are  in  the  museum 
of  ^Egina. 

The  peninsula  of  Attica  stretches  into  the  sea, 
terminating  in  Cape  Colonna.  A  considerable  part 
of  the  southern  surface  of  the  peninsula  is  the  min- 
ing district  of  Laurion,  where  the  early  Greeks  got 
their  silver,  the  output  being  quite  large,  and,  as  al- 
ready stated,  the  Athenians,  who  possessed  these 
mines,  were  persuaded  by  Themistocles  to  devote  the 
profits  to  founding  their  navy,  but  by  the  beginning 
of  the  Christian  era  the  silver  mining  had  fallen  into 
decline.  In  1860,  however,  it  was  revived,  and  the 
mines  have  since  been  worked,  not  for  silver,  but 
chiefly  for  lead,  cadmium  and  manganese.  There  are 
over  two  thousand  shafts  and  galleries,  many  appear- 
ing now  in  the  same  condition  as  they  were  left  by  the 


THE  NEIGHBORHOOD  OF  ATHENS  9Y 

ancient  workers.  The  shafts  are  about  six  feet 
square,  and  some  are  sunk  four  hundred  feet,  there 
being  niches  in  the  walls  for  lamps  and  water-ves- 
sels. The  ancient  workmen  were  slaves,  who  car- 
ried the  rock  out  of  the  pits  on  their  backs. 

The  termination  of  the  Attica  peninsula,  Cape 
Colonna,  the  original  Cape  Sunion,  stands  as  a  huge 
watch-tower  at  the  extremity  of  Greece,  a  bold  prom- 
ontory elevated  nearly  two  hundred  feet,  with  its 
sides  and  front  descending  almost  perpendicularly 
to  the  sea.  This  massive  rock  is  chronicled  by 
Homer  as  sacred  to  Poseidon,  the  sea  god,  and  his 
temple  on  the  summit  is  surrounded  by  a  fortified 
wall  and  towers,  a  structure  built  in  the  fifth  century 
B.  C.,  and  referred  to  by  Demosthenes  in  one  of  his 
speeches.  The  temple  was  constructed  like  the 
Theseion  of  Athens,  but  smaller,  measuring  about 
100  by  44  feet,  and  is  believed  to  have  been  built  in 
the  time  of  Pericles.  There  are  eleven  columns  yet 
standing,  with  a  part  of  the  eastern  end,  but  all  the 
remainder  is  in  ruins.  The  columns  gradually  dis- 
integrate and  fall,  for  at  the  beginning  of  the  nine- 
teenth century  fourteen  were  standing,  and  nineteen 
a  century  earlier.  Near  by  have  been  excavated  the 
foundation  walls  of  a  Temple  of  Athena.  There  is 
a  noble  outlook  from  Sunion  over  the  sea  with  its 
many  islands,  the  Oros  of  ^Egina  being  off  to  the 
westward,  and  the  numerous  Cyclades  east  and  south, 

with   distant  Milos   far   south,   and  keen   observers 
VOL.  II— 7 


98  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

think  that  sometimes  the  dim  contour  of  the  higher 
Cretan  mountains  can  be  traced  over  a  hundred 
miles  away.  The  striking  view  of  this  temple- 
crowned  promontory,  on  the  approach  from  the 
yEgean  sea,  discerned  from  a  great  distance  over  the 
waters,  was  a  source  of  inspiration  to  Lord  Byron, 
who  speaks  of  it  in  his  notes  to  Childe  Harold.  In 
Canto  II  he  wrote  the  following  invocation  to  the 
Hellenic  memory : 

Fair  Greece!  sad  relic  of  departed  worth! 

Immortal,  though  no  more;  though  fallen,  great! 
Who  now  shall  lead  thy  scattered  children  forth, 

And  long  accustom'd  bondage  uncreate? 

Not  such  thy  sons  who  whilom  did  await, 
The  hopeless  warriors  of  a  willing  doom, 

In  bleak  Thermopylae's  sepulchral  strait  — 
Oh !  who  that  gallant  spirit  shall  resume, 
Leap  from  Eurotas'  banks,  and  call  thee  from  the  tomb? 


THE  /EGEAN  SEA 


THE  AEGEAN  SEA 

Crete — Zeus — The  Minotaur — The  Labyrinth — Candia — Knos- 
sos — Gortyn — Canea — Kydonia — The  Archipelago — The  Cy- 
clades — The  Sporades — Milos — Delos — Apollo  and  Diana — 
Megali  Delos — Mykonos — Kea — Kythnos — Seriphos — Siph- 
nos — Kimolos — Pholegandros — Sikinos  —  Nios  —  Santorin  — 
Kaymeni  Islands — Phira — Ana  phi — Amorgos — Paros — Anti- 
paros — Naxos — Syra — Hermonpolis — Tenos — Andros  —  Scar- 
penti — Cos — Kalymnos — Leros — Patmos — St.  John — Samoa 
— Chora — Nicaria — Scio — Mytilene — Eubcea — The  Euripus — 
Chalkis — Eretria — Karystos — Xerochori — Cape  Artemision — 
Kavo  Stavro — The  Pegasaean  Gulf — Thessaly — Volo — Mount 
Pelion — Kynoskephalae — Pharsalos — Trikkala  —  Kalabaka  — 
The  Peneios  River — Larissa — Vale  of  Tempe — Mount  Ossa 
—  Mount  Olympus  —  Macedonia — Thrace — Salonika — Mount 
Athos — 'Thasos — Philippi — Samothrace — Lemnos — The  Dar- 
danelles— Chersonesus — 'Gallipoli — Anatolia — Province  of 
Asia — Nicaea1 — Hissarlik — Tenedos  —  Siege  of  Troy  —  The 
Levant  —  Mysia  —  Pergamos  —  Lydia — Sardis  —  Croesus  — 
Thyatira — Ala-Shehr — Philadelphia  —  Manissa —  Smyrna  — 
Skala  Nova — Ephesus — St.  Paul — Temple  of  Diana — The 
Seven  Sleepers — The  Maeander — Caria — Laodicea — Colossae — 
Aidin — Miletus — Halicarnassus — The!  Mausoleum — Cnidus — 
Lycia — Adalia — Pamphylia — Mount  Taurus — Pisidia — Isau- 
ria — Cilicia — The  Cydnus — Tarsus — Adana — Cyprus — Pyg- 
malion and  Galatea — Isle  of  Rhodes — The  Colossus — 
Knights  of  St.  John — Byron's  Invocation  to  the  JSgean. 


101 


102  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

THE    ISLAND    OF    CBETE. 

King  ^Egeus  of  Athens  is  believed  to  have  named 
the  -^Egean  Sea.  From  Crete,  on  its  southern  verge, 
this  famous  sea  stretches  more  than  four  hundred 
miles  northward,  between  Greece  and  Turkey,  on  the 
one  side,  and  Asia  Minor,  on  the  other.  For  much 
of  the  distance  it  has  a  width  of  two  hundred  miles, 
and  islands  are  scattered  all  through  it.  Crete,  on  its 
southern  boundary,  is  one  of  the  most  ancient  islands 
of  the  Mediterranean,  as  it  is  among  the  largest,  and 
its  origin  is  full  of  myths.  The  earliest  navigators 
settled  it,  and  the  population  grew  apace,  for  it  was 
the  meeting  place  of  many  races  of  men,  long  before 
the  Hellenic  world,  as  we  know  it  in  history,  began 
to  exist.  Here  came  peoples  from  Asia  and  from 
the  Nile  valley,  who  coalesced,  making  a  most  popu- 
lous community,  whence  migrations  were  made  in 
diverging  courses  throughout  the  Hellenic  empire. 
Homer  sang  of  "  the  hundred  cities  of  Crete."  The 
Pelasgi  and  the  Eteckretes  were  there  long  before  the 
Phoenicians,  coming  from  Asia  Minor  and  bringing 
with  them  the  worship  of  Rhea  (Cybele)  and  her 
son  the  great  Zeus  (Jupiter),  with  also  the  name  of 
Mount  Ida,  whence  they  seem  to  have  migrated. 
Cybele  was  the  daughter  of  Ccelus  (Heaven)  and 
Ga  (Earth),  the  wife  of  Cronus  (Satan),  and 
mother  of  the  highest  gods  and  goddesses.  In  the 
Grecian  mythology  we  are  told  that  Satan  insisted 


THE  ISLAND  OF  CRETE  103 

on  devouring  his  children,  so  Cybele,  by  the  advice 
of  her  parents,  went  to  Lyctos  in  Crete,  where  she 
gave  birth  to  her  son  Zeus.  When  the  infant  was 
born  various  pious  youth  of  that  place  gathered 
around  him  with  clashing  arms  and  loud  instruments 
of  music,  drowning  the  child's  cries,  while  the  shrewd 
mother  went  away,  to  present  her  husband  a  stone 
wrapped  up  like  a  child.  The  stratagem  was  success- 
ful, Satan  swallowing  the  stone.  The  infant  was 
concealed  in  a  cave  on  Mount  Ida,  where  he  was 
nursed  by  the  nymphs,  and  when  he  grew  to  man- 
hood he  seized  the  government  of  the  heavens  and 
the  earth,  dethroning  his  father,  and  made  his  home 
on  Mount  Olympus  in  Thessaly,  just  north  of  the 
modern  Grecian  boundary.  Minos  was  the  son  of 
Jupiter  and  Europa  and  the  father  of  Ariadne  and 
Deucalian,  the  Grecian  Noah.  To  obtain  possession 
of  the  throne  of  Crete  he  declared  that  his  father  and 
the  gods  granted  him  everything  for  which  he  prayed. 
He  therefore  implored  that  a  bull  might  come  forth 
from  the  sea,  promising  to  sacrifice  it  to  Neptune,  the 
sea  god.  The  bull  appeared,  and  he  obtained  the 
kingdom,  but  he  so  greatly  admired  its  beauty  that  to 
save  it  he  sacrificed  another  bull,  which  made  Nep- 
tune wroth.  Neptune  therefore  sent  the  Minotaur 
to  Crete,  a  creature  with  the  body  of  a  man  and  the 
head  of  a  bull.  Minos  acquired  much  power  by  sea, 
conquering  all  the  JEgean  islands,  and  made  war 
upon  Athens,  compelling  it  to  send  to  Crete  a  tribute 


104  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

periodically  of  seven  youths  and  seven  maidens,  to  be 
devoured  by  the  Minotaur.  After  death  Minos  be- 
came one  of  the  judges  in  Hades. 

As  a  home  for  the  Minotaur,  Minos  got  his  faith- 
ful subjects  Dasdalus,  the  inventor  (who  taught  the 
people  how  to  make  sails  for  their  boats),  and  his 
son  Icarus  to  build  the  wonderful  maze  or  labyrinth. 
This  was  a  structure  of  so  many  winding  and  com- 
plex passages  and  rooms  that  no  one  entering  could 
find  his  way  out,  not  even  Daedalus  or  Icarus.  When 
they  realized  that  they  had  been  caught  in  their  own 
snare,  they  made  wings  fastened  with  wax  to  their 
shoulders,  and  thus  flew  up  and  out  of  their  prison. 
Icarus  went  so  high  that  the  heat  of  the  sun  melted 
off  his  wings,  and  he  tumbled  into  the  sea  below, 
which  in  memory  has  been  called  the  Icarian  Sea, 
while  Daedalus,  flying  lower,  escaped  in  safety  to 
Sicily.  The  Athenians  chafed  at  the  sacrifice  of 
their  youths  and  maidens  sent  to  be  fed  to  the  Mino- 
taur, and  the  young  prince  Theseus  asked  to  go  with 
them,  hoping  to  slay  the  monster.  When  the  em- 
bassy reached  Crete,  they  were  taken  to  King  Minos 
in  the  palace,  and  Ariadne,  the  king's  daughter,  when 
she  saw  Theseus,  fell  in  love  with  him,  and  thought 
she  would  save  him.  Next  morning  she  sought 
Theseus,  and  giving  him  a  ball  of  string  told  him  to 
fasten  one  end  at  the  entrance  to  the  labyrinth  and 
unwind  it  as  he  went  in,  and  also  gave  him  a  sword 
with  which  to  attack  the  Minotaur.  Theseus  entered 


THE  ISLAND  OF  CRETE  105 

with  the  Athenians,  and  going  from  one  passage  to 
another  gradually  unwound  the  string.  The  guards 
led  the  party  through  the  maze,  in  and  out,  until  sure 
that  they  were  confused,  and  then  left  them.  The- 
seus comforted  his  companions,  and  soon  they  heard 
the  monster  coming,  and  with  a  loud  bellowing  the 
Minotaur  rushed  at  the  young  hero.  Too  quick  for 
the  monster,  with  a  stroke  of  the  sharp  sword  he 
cut  off  one  of  his  legs,  and  he  fell  headlong.  In  a 
second  he  ran  the  sword  through  the  creature's  heart, 
and  the  Minotaur  fell  dead.  They  remained  until 
night,  and  then  Theseus  led  the  party  safely  out  of  the 
labyrinth,  by  following  the  long  string  to  the  en- 
trance. He  took  them  home  in  triumph,  but  failure 
to  hoist  the  white  sails,  on  approaching  Athens,  so 
shocked  his  father,  King  ^Egeus,  that  he  plunged 
from  the  rock  to  death,  and  Theseus  became  the  king. 
Crete,  which  in  the  Italian  is  Candia,  stretches 
for  about  one  hundred  and  sixty  miles  east  and  west, 
and  has  a  breadth  of  thirty-six  miles  in  the  widest 
portion,  narrowing  elsewhere  to  barely  seven  miles. 
A  limestone  mountain  chain  traverses  it,  the  summit 
of  Mount  Theodora,  at  the  westward,  rising  7,900 
feet,  Mount  Christos,  to  the  eastward,  7,200  feet,  and 
the  highest  summit,  Mount  Stavros  near  the  centre, 
8,065  feet,  this  being  the  ancient  Mount  Ida.  These 
mountains  are  carved  by  many  deep  valleys  and  ra- 
vines, running  out  to  the  sea,  and  the  larger  part  of 
the  surface  is  a  barren  waste,  off  which  the  rainfall 


106  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

dashes  in  wild  torrents.  There  is  an  arable  plain  of 
Messara,  at  the  base  of  Mount  Ida,  covering  about 
four  hundred  square  miles,  and  some  other  fertile 
valleys  and  small  garden  spots  elsewhere,  but  the 
island  barely  grows  enough  grain  for  home  consump- 
tion, while  olive  oil,  currants  and  wines  are  the  chief 
exports,  and  cattle  are  raised.  It  was  natural  for  all 
the  maritime  races  of  the  Mediterranean  to  avail 
of  the  harbors  of  Crete,  but,  even  in  antiquity,  most 
of  these  had  to  be  artificially  deepened  and  protected 
by  moles.  Crete,  owing  to  its  configuration,  early 
became  the  home  of  various  and  hostile  tribes  in 
many  separate  towns,  and  was  usually  in  a  turmoil, 
which  still  goes  on,  breaking  out  periodically  and 
requiring  the  intervention  of  the  European  powers 
for  settlement.  It  anciently  had  two  capitals, 
Knossos,  near  the  northern  coast,  and  Gortyn,  on  the 
fertile  Messara  plain.  After  the  numerous  Hellenic 
vicissitudes  the  Romans  conquered  the  island,  and 
it  ultimately  went  to  their  eastern  empire.  The 
Saracens  held  it  awhile,  and  in  the  thirteenth  cen- 
tury it  fell  to  the  Venetians,  who  ruled  it  four  hun- 
dred years,  when  the  Turks  conquered  it  in  the  later 
seventeenth  century.  There  have  been  frequent  re- 
bellions against  the  Turks,  the  most  active  insurgents 
being  the  Sphakiotes,  who  live  in  the  mountain  fast- 
nesses of  the  western  island.  Rebellions  in  the  nine- 
teenth century  have  obtained  for  the  Cretans  a 
partial  independence,  and  in  1897  they  had  another 


THE  ISLAND  OF  CRETE  107 

outbreak,  proclaiming  their  adhesion  to  Greece,  and 
producing  serious  conflicts. 

The  result  of  this  was  an  intervention  by  the  Eu- 
ropean powers,  and  the  appointment  of  Prince 
George,  the  second  son  of  the  King  of  Greece,  as 
High  Commissioner,  with  Turkish  suzerainty,  under 
protection  of  the  powers.  But  great  discontent  con- 
tinued, however,  and  in  1905  and  again  in  1908, 
there  were  rebellions  requiring  interference.  The 
Cretans  declared  for  union  with  Greece,  and  went  so 
far  as  to  elect  delegates  to  the  Grecian  Parliament, 
when  they  learned  that  the  powers  intended  to  with- 
draw their  force  of  protecting  troops  from  the  island, 
replacing  them  by  warships.  This  was  done  in  July, 
1909,  whereupon  a  great  ferment  arose  and  Turkey 
prepared  a  fleet  to  send  to  the  island.  Diplomatic 
exchanges  followed,  but  for  a  time  war  between  Tur- 
key and  Greece  seemed  imminent.  The  withdrawal 
of  the  troops  occurred  July  27,  whereupon  the  Greek 
flag  was  run  up  on  the  fortress  and  barracks  at  Canea. 
The  powers  protested  vigorously,  fearing  a  war  that 
might  involve  all  Europe.  The  Provisional  Admin- 
istrative Committee  at  Canea,  who  controlled  the 
government,  were  stubborn,  as  they  had  taken  oaths 
of  allegiance  to  the  King  of  Greece,  but  the  powers 
were  potential  at  Athens,  and  the  arrangement  was 
finally  made  that  the  flag  should  come  down.  At 
sunrise,  August  18,  under  direction  of  the  consuls 
at  Canea,  a  force  of  sailors  landed  from  the  interna- 


108  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

tional  fleet,  shot  at  the  flagstaff,  breaking  it,  and  thus 
brought  down  the  flag.  It  was  rehoisted  next  day, 
but  soon  taken  down  bj  the  Cretan  government  offi- 
cials, who  gave  pledge  to  the  consuls  that  it  would 
not  be  again  raised,  and  this  was  confirmed  by  a 
satisfactory  note  from  Athens.  Thus  was  closed 
an  incident  which  for  a  time  threatened  to  embroil 
all  Europe.  The  island  of  Crete  has  about  300,000 
population,  largely  Greek  Christians,  and  occasion- 
ally an  earthquake  shakes  it. 

A  steamer  from  the  Pirasus  takes  the  visitor  over 
the  sea  to  the  harbor  of  Candia,  the  highest  moun- 
tains in  Crete  rising  grandly  across  the  southern  hori- 
zon on  the  approach.  As  at  most  ports  in  this  part 
of  the  world,  a  rowboat  carries  the  passenger  from 
the  steamer,  and  through  the  medieval  fortified  little 
haven  to  the  landing  place,  the  forts  being  relics  of 
the  Saracenic  rule,  and  strengthened  so  well  when  the 
Venetians  held  them  that  they  withstood  a  three 
years'  siege  before  the  Turks  captured  them  in  1669. 
This  town  was  the  ancient  Herakleion,  the  seaport  of 
Knossos,  and  the  modern  Greeks  have  revived  the 
name.  The  public  square  is  embellished  \vith  a  foun- 
tain dedicated  to  Admiral  Morosini,  its  brave  Ve- 
netian defender,  and  enriched  by  four  lions,  a  Ve- 
netian sculptor's  work.  There  is  also  a  museum  of 
early  Greek  art,  the  exhibits  being  obtained  from 
Knossos  and  other  very  old  towns. 

far  away  are  the  ruins  of  Knossos,  the  capital 


THE  ISLAND  OF  CRETE  109 

of  King  Minos,  whose  royal  palace,  tomb,  sepulchral 
chamber  and  adjacent  places  have  been  recently 
excavated,  mostly  through  the  labors  of  Dr.  Arthur 
J.  Evans,  who  has  recovered  most  important  relics 
in  sculpture,  art  works,  pottery  and  other  interesting 
articles,  besides  restoring  much  of  the  ruined  struc- 
tures. Knossos  survived  until  the  downfall  of  Rome, 
when  it  was  largely  destroyed.  The  palace,  long 
ago  burnt,  stood  on  a  flat-topped  hill,  and  covered  a 
large  surface  with  its  myriads  of  rooms  and  passages, 
constructed  around  a  central  court  ..measuring  196 
by  95  feet.  The  decorations  contain  many  repre- 
sentations of  double  axes,  paintings  of  bulls  and 
bulls'  heads,  with  altars  having  bulls'  horns,  and 
there  is  a  vase  shaped  as  a  bull's  head.  These,  with 
the  myriads  of  rooms  and  passages  arranged  in  ir- 
regular fashion,  have  caused  the  recent  excavators 
to  adopt  the  theory  that  the  famous  labyrinth  of  the 
Minotaur  is  probably  identified  with  this  place.  It 
is  recalled  that  in  the  Lydian  tongue  the  name  for 
the  double  axe  is  Idbrys.  Passing  westward  from 
the  palace  has  been  found  a  paved  way,  which  Dr. 
Evans  calls  "  the  oldest  road  in  Europe."  This 
leads  to  another  building,  excavated  in  1907-8,  and 
named  the  "  Little  Palace,"  its  eastern  front  spread- 
ing over  114  feet,  and  facing  the  other  palace  with 
a  fine  peristyle  and  colonnade.  Four  separate  stone 
staircases  led  to  apartments  above,  though  in  the  gen- 
eral ruin  the  upper  portions  had  fallen  down.  This 


110  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

building,  over  eighty  feet  deep,  is  regarded  as  dating 
from  the  seventeenth  century  B.  C.  according  to 
relics  found  in  excavations.  The  double  axe  and 
bull's  head  appear  in  the  decoration,  with  altar  horns, 
and  also  papyrus  and  fish  on  vessels  showing 
Egyptian  origin.  Many  fine  bronzes,  basins,  ewers, 
cauldrons,  implements  and  weapons  also  were  found, 
with  specimens  of  early  Minoan  pottery.  These  ex- 
cavations continue,  and  are  expected  to  throw  fresh 
light  upon  the  days  of  Minos  and  the  origin  of  the 
Hellenic  people^. 

To  the  southeast  of  Knossos  rises  the  massive 
Stavros  (Mount  Ida),  and  upon  its  side,  at  more 
than  five  thousand  feet  elevation,  is  the  Grotto  of 
Zeus,  where  the  god  was  nursed,  its  entrance  facing 
the  rising  sun.  Here,  upon  one  side,  the  base  of 
the  cliff  has  been  hewn  into  the  form  of  a  spacious 
altar.  The  interior  of  the  grotto  is  a  high  vaulted 
chamber  about  one  hundred  feet  in  diameter,  and  hav- 
ing a  low  interior  passage  of  the  same  length.  Explo- 
rations have  disclosed  many  votive  offerings  to  the 
infant  Zeus,  and  much  work  in  bronze  and  pottery. 
Another  cave,  where  Zeus  is  reputed  to  have  lived, 
is  not  far  off,  on  the  northern  slope  of  Mount  Lasithi. 
Here  an  upper  cave  is  connected  by  a  long  shaft  with 
a  stalactite  grotto,  where  ancient  offerings  were  also 
found,  dating  from  the  earliest  Doric  period,  includ- 
ing small  bronze  double  axes. 

Gortyn,  the  rival  ancient  capital,  which  in  its  later 


THE  ISLAND  OF  CRETE  111 

career  eclipsed  Knossos,  stood  on  the  Messara  plain, 
near  the  southern  slope  of  Mount  Ida.  Its  Acropo- 
lis, amphitheatre  and  other  buildings  have  been  dis- 
covered, and  the  ruins  show  it  to  have  been  an  ex- 
tensive city.  The  chief  structure  was  a  temple  dedi- 
cated to  Apollo.  Nearer  the  southern  coast  are  the 
remains  of  Phsestos,  another  ancient  city,  with  a 
palace  somewhat  similar  to  and  almost  as  large  as 
that  of  Knossos.  A  curious  fact,  illustrating  the 
calmness  of  the  ancient  philosopher  in  the  midst  of 
dangerous  natural  phenomena,  is  related  here  of 
Apollonius  of  Tyana.  In  the  year  62  or  63  A.  D. 
he  was  on  the  coast  near  Phsestos,  on  a  promontory 
washed  by  the  sea,  where  there  was  a  renowned 
sanctuary.  He  was  conversing  with  a  group  of  pil- 
grims who  had  come  to  do  honor  to  the  sanctuary, 
when  suddenly  there  was  an  earthquake.  The  roar 
of  the  thunder,  records  Philostratus,  "  did  not  pro- 
ceed from  the  clouds,  but  came  from  the  depths  of 
the  sea,  and  the  sea  retired  at  least  seven  stadia." 
The  people  feared  that  in  the  great  tidal  waves  fol- 
lowing its  retreat  the  sea  would  engulf  the  sanctuary 
and  wash  them  all  away.  Apollonius,  however,  said : 
"  Be  comforted :  the  sea  has  brought  forth  new  land." 
A  few  days  afterward  they  heard  that  a  new  island 
had  appeared  between  Crete  and  Thera,  to  the  north- 
ward, and  now  known  as  Santorin. 

Everywhere  in  the  island  of  Crete  are  ruins  of 
very  ancient  places,  and  in  several  have  been  discov- 


112  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

ered  relics  of  the  stone  age,  antedating  the  Greeks. 
The  enthusiastic  excavators,  in  fact,  have  made  such 
discoveries  that  they  claim  the  ancient  Minoan  king- 
dom was  in  reality  a  great  empire  controlling  the 
Mediterranean.  Dr.  Evans  says  the  beginning  of 
the  flint  deposits  found  beneath  the  palace  at  Knossos 
dates  from  at  least  10,000  B.  C.,  and  from  that  time 
onward  the  development  of  the  Minoan  people  can  be 
traced  continuously.  Between  the  neolithic  age  and 
the  destruction  of  Knossos  three  great  periods  can  be 
distinguished,  roughly  contemporary  with  the  three 
periods  of  Egypt  —  the  old  Memphite  kingdom,  the 
Theban  middle  kingdom,  and  the  eighteenth  dy- 
nasty or  Theban  empire.  These  were  the  successive 
eras  of  Minoan  civilization;  but  that  race  was  ulti- 
mately overthrown,  and  the  Phoenicians  took  their 
place  as  the  Mediterranean  navigators.  It  is  even 
thought  that  the  destruction  of  the  fabled  island  of 
Atlantis  in  reality  was  a  story  founded  on  the  down- 
fall of  the  great  empire  of  Minos  and  worked  into 
mythical  tales  by  the  ingenious  scribes  who  preceded 
Plato,  who  first  records  it. 

The  present  capital  of  Crete,  and  its  largest  city, 
with  about  25,000  population,  Canea,  is  upon  a 
spacious  bay  on  the  northern  coast  of  the  western  part 
of  the  island.  The  low,  whitewashed  houses  cluster 
around  the  harbor,  which  is  protected  by  a  long  mole. 
There  are  a  citadel  and  fortifications,  built  by  the  Ve- 
netians, and  there  is  the  residence  of  Prince  George, 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO  113 

and  the  capitol,  a  handsome  building  of  modern  con- 
struction. The  immediate  harbor  opens  on  a  bay 
to  the  northward;  but  about  four  miles  away,  across 
an  isthmus,  is  another  narrow  and  deep  gulf,  grad- 
ually widening  out  eastward  to  the  sea,  the  Bay  of 
Souda,  which  covers  about  nine  square  miles,  and  is 
the  best  harbor  on  the  Cretan  coast.  A  broad  penin- 
sula, terminating  in  the  Cape  Kyamon  of  the  ancients, 
separates  the  two  harbors.  Here  was  Kydonia,  the 
most  important  town  of  ancient  Crete,  which,  unlike 
all  the  others,  was  built  immediately  on  the  shore, 
and  thus  became  a  great  trading  port.  Its  materials 
have  been  largely  used  in  building  Canea. 

THE   ARCHIPELAGO. 

The  many  islands  scattered  over  the  ^Egean  Sea 
were  the  original  "  Archipelago,"  a  name  that  has 
since  become  by  general  adoption  a  generic  title  for 
other  groups  of  islands.  These  islands,  and  the  en- 
closing ^Egean  shores,  were  the  scene  of  much  of  the 
ministry  of  St.  John  and  the  missionary  work  of  St. 
Paul.  From  the  southern  extremities  of  the  long 
protruding  Grecian  peninsulas  there  extend  around 
toward  the  southeast  and  east  a  series  of  semi- 
circular submarine  plateaus,  toward  the  southwest- 
ern coast  of  Asia  Minor.  These  plateaus  rise  into 
rows  and  clusters  of  islands,  of  varied  and  attractive 
character.  The  ancients  named  the  inner  group  the 

Cyclades,  meaning  the  "  circle,"  because  they  encir- 
VOL.  II— 8 


'114  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

cled  as  a  centre  the  sacred  isle  of  Delos.  The  outer 
clusters  they  called  the  Sporades,  meaning  the  "  scat- 
tered," these  surrounding  the  Cyclades  and  forming 
separate  groups  known  as  the  Northern,  Western  and 
Eastern  Sporades.  There  are  in  the  Archipelago 
twenty-four  large  islands  and  over  two  hundred 
smaller  ones,  besides  outlying  rocks  and  reefs.  Al- 
most every  locality  in  the  JEgean  Sea  has  its  classic 
and  sacred  associations.  Islands  were  scattered  lib- 
erally along  the  marine  highway  of  the  ancient 
Mediterranean  nations,  and  in  that  wonderful  era 
they  were  renowned  places,  overflowing  with  hu- 
man energy,  and  exuberantly  fertile.  Great  art- 
ists were  born  in  or  brought  to  them,  producing 
noble  works.  Science,  letters  and  philosophy  flour- 
ished, and  their  people  led  in  war,  as  well  as 
in  art  and  commerce.  Their  fame  continued 
when  they  were  dominated  by  Greece,  and  after- 
ward by  Rome,  and  their  vitality  did  not  decline 
until  the  Byzantine  empire  fell,  while  several  con- 
tinued prosperous  under  the  Venetian  rule.  Then 
they  gradually  sank  into  obscurity  and  were  almost 
forgotten,  but  now,  succeeding  centuries  of  neglect, 
a  new  era  seems  dawning  in  the  revival  of  interest 
taken  in  them  by  the  modern  influx  of  tourists. 
There  is  even  an  effort  promised  to  again  make  use 
of  the  pure  white  Parian  marble,  which  was  the  fa- 
mous product,  in  ancient  times,  of  Paros,  and  to  some 
extent  of  other  islands. 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO  115 

In  the  Cyclades  the  westernmost  island  is  Milos, 
having  about  five  thousand  people  living  upon  a  sur- 
face of  less  than  sixty  square  miles,  this  being  the  rim 
of  an  ancient  sunken  volcano,  of  which  the  memory  is 
yet  kept  fresh  by  discharges  of  hot  water  and  vapors 
and  the  vivid  coloring  of  the  volcanic  rocks.  Into 
the  northwestern  part  the  sea  has  breached  an  en- 
trance to  the  crater,  making  one  of  the  best  harbors 
of  the  Mediterranean.  There  is  much  fertile  surface, 
the  plateau  rising  southwestward  into  the  summit  of 
Mount  St.  Elias,  elevated  2,535  feet.  Milos  exports 
much  sulphur,  gypsum  and  china  clay,  and  has  me- 
tallic ores,  but  these  are  not  worked.  There  are  ex- 
tensive ruins  of  the  ancient  city  of  Melos,  including 
its  Roman  theatre,  which  has  been  excavated,  the 
sanctuary  of  Dionysos,  a  colonnade,  walls  and  tombs, 
while  two  hills,  overlooking  the  site,  were  each  sur- 
mounted by  an  Acropolis.  Down  by  the  edge  of  the 
sea,  in  a  little  bay,  where  there  are  a  number  of 
tombs,  was  found  by  a  peasant  in  1820  the  famous 
armless  statue  of  the  Venus  of  Milo,  now  the  great 
treasure  of  the  Louvre  at  Paris.  He  sold  it  to  the 
French  Government  for  $1,200,  and  it  is  believed 
to  be  the  work  of  the  Greek  sculptor  Alexandros  in 
the  fourth  century  B.  C. 

The  many  craft  sailing  through  the  Archipelago  of 
the  ^Egean,  crossing  the  blue  waters  among  the  pic- 
turesque islands,  give  the  traveller  charming  views 
of  classic  scenes.  Probably  the  most  noted  of  all, 


11 G  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

though  it  is  almost  the  smallest,  is  the  sacred  isle  of 
Delos.  It  is  only  about  six  miles  in  circumference, 
and  has  but  a  little  more  than  a  square  mile  of  sur- 
face, being  a  rocky  ridge  three  miles  long,  very  nar- 
row, and  rising  into  the  summit  of  Mount  Kynthos, 
370  feet  high,  from  which  there  is  a  splendid  view  of 
the  encircling  Cyclades,  dotting  the  sea  in  all  direc- 
tions. The  legend,  no  doubt  originating  in  a  volcanic 
eruption,  tells  us  that  this  rock  rose  from  the  sea  at  a 
stroke  of  Neptune's  trident,  and  went  floating  aim- 
lessly about  as  driven  by  the  winds  and  waves.  The 
nymph  Latona,  daughter  of  Ccenus  and  Phoebe,  and 
beloved  by  Jupiter,  was  persecuted  by  the  jealous 
Juno,  and  could  find  no  rest,  as  all  lands  had  been 
put  under  a  ban  that  harbored  her.  Finally  she 
sought  refuge  on  this  floating  island,  and  Jupiter 
had  it  moored  to  the  bottom  of  the  sea  by  adaman- 
tine chains,  the  other  islands  being  gathered  as 
guardians  around  it.  Here,  under  a  shady  tree,  and 
in  a  nook  of  the  desert  rock,  on  the  bank  of  the 
Sacred  Lake,  Latona  gave  birth  to  the  twins,  Apollo 
and  Diana,  who  were  called  Delius  and  Delia,  whence 
came  the  island's  name.  In  the  mythical  symbolism 
this  legend  signified  the  primitive  darkness  whence 
sprang  Apollo,  or  the  light.  To  them,  and  par- 
ticularly to  Apollo,  the  island  became  sacred,  and 
in  accord  with  a  vow  of  Latona  a  temple  was  erected 
by  a  son  of  Cecrops  at  the  foot  of  Mount  Kynthos, 
while  later  another  temple  was  built  on  the  summit 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO  117 

to  Jupiter  and  Minerva,  of  which  there  are  still 
some  remains.  It  was  said  that  Delos  always  was 
protected  by  the  gods,  being  unshaken  by  the  earth- 
quakes devastating  the  other  Cyclades,  and  it  was 
enriched  for  many  centuries  by  the  gifts  of  various 
nations.  Delian  festivals  were  held  every  four 
years,  the  Athenians  always  sending  embassies. 
The  oldest  settlers  were  Phoenicians  and  lonians, 
the  island  being  a  religious  centre  of  the  worship  of 
Apollo.  Athens  ruled  it  from  the  eighth  century 
IB.  C.,  and  during  that  and  the  Roman  age  it  had 
a  flourishing  commerce,  but  it  was  devastated  and 
lost  its  prosperity  before  the  Christian  era. 

The  island  is  chiefly  interesting  to  archaeologists, 
and  there  have  been  extensive  excavations.  Among 
the  latest  "  finds,"  in  the  summer  of  1905,  were 
three  leaden  vases,  full  of  old  coins,  the  largest  con- 
taining three  hundred  4-drachma  pieces,  made  at 
Athens  under  the  Archons,  most  of  them  new 
coinage.  Delos  has  no  inhabitants  now  but  the 
custodians  and  a  few  shepherds,  and  these  leave  in 
the  winter.  The  ancient  town  is  at  the  base  of  the 
mountain,  and  on  its  western  verge  is  the  sacred 
harbor,  now  become  very  shallow  from  the  silt  de- 
posits. On  the  high  ridge  just  inland  was  the 
sacred  precinct  and  the  Temple  of  Apollo.  It  was 
approached  by  a  road  passing  between  two  colon- 
nades, the  larger  having  an  inscription  indicating 
its  erection  by  Philip  of  Macedon.  Immediately 


118  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

within  were  temples  to  Aphrodite,  Hermes  and 
Dionysos,  and  a  Propylse,  of  which  the  substructure 
of  three  steps  remains.  On  this  were  Doric 
columns,  the  inscription  dedicating  it  to  Apollo  by 
the  Athenians.  Within  ran  the  Festal  Street  to 
the  temple,  and  the  base  is  here  shown  of  a  colossal 
statue  of  Apollo,  of  which  two  large  fragments  lie 
on  the  ground,  and  a  hand  is  preserved  in  the 
Mykonos  Museum.  There  were  also  fragments  of 
two  temples  dedicated  to  Artemis  and  of  several 
treasure  houses.  A  great  deal  of  the  destruction 
here  was  done  to  secure  materials  for  the  medieval 
fortifications  built  when  the  island  was  held  by  the 
Knights  of  St.  John  of  Rhodes.  The  great  Tem- 
ple of  Apollo  was  a  Doric  construction,  like  the 
Theseion  at  Athens,  86  by  44  feet,  of  which  the 
massive  foundations  remain  and  some  fragments 
of  the  columns,  there  having  been  thirteen  on  each 
side.  There  are  foundations  of  two  other  temples, 
also  used  in  the  worship  of  Apollo,  and  evidently 
of  earlier  construction.  Near  by  stood  the  great 
Horned  Altar  of  Apollo,  which  was  named  from  the 
rains'  horns  affixed  around  it.  This  altar  stood  in 
the  structure  called  the  "  Hall  of  the  Bulls,"  to  the 
eastward  of  the  great  temple,  and  there  now  remains 
of  the  altar  a  sort  of  core  of  granite  blocks.  The 
Hall,  which  got  its  name  from  the  series  of  re- 
cumbent bulls  making  the  capitals  of  some  of  the 
pilasters,  measures  220  by  29  feet,  and  its  granite 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO  119 

and  marble  foundations  are  quite  well  preserved. 
There  is  an  extensive  Agora,  or  market,  of  the 
Roman  period,  beyond  which  is  the  oval  Sacred 
Lake,  where  Apollo  is  said  to  have  been  born. 
Ascending  the  slope  of  Mount  Kynthos  is  the 
sacred  path  leading  to  the  Grotto  of  Apollo,  having 
on  the  route  the  "  Temple  of  the  Foreign  Gods," 
erected  in  the  second  century  B.  C.,  when  the  wor- 
ship was  introduced  into  Greece  of  the  Egyptian 
deities,  including  Serapis  and  Isis.  This  is  in 
ruins,  a  large  portion  of  the  materials  having  been 
removed.  Above  are  two  terraces  supported  by 
solid  walls,  and  fronting  the  grotto,  Avhich  is  the 

most  venerable  of  all  the  Delos  sanctuaries.     This 

• 

cleft  in  the  rock  is  closed  by  a  primitive  wall  and 
doorway,  but  contains  little  of  interest.  The 
sacred  path  goes  farther  upward  to  the  temples  on 
the  summit  of  Mount  Kynthos.  To  the  westward 
of  Delos,  separated  by  a  narrow  channel,  is  the 
larger  island  of  Megali  Delos,  the  burial  place  of 
the  Delians,  and  formerly  called  Eheneia.  In  the 
fifth  century  B.  C.  Delos  was  "  purified  "  and  all 
tombs  removed,  this  Kheneia  then  becoming  the 
place  of  interment,  and  subsequently  even  births  and 
deaths  in  Delos  were  prohibited,  the  dying  and  the 
pregnant  being  removed  thither.  The  excavations 
on  the  portion  of  the  island  facing  Delos  disclose 
many  tombs.  To  the  northeast  is  Mykonos,  the 
ancient  island  of  Chora,  which  is  the  port  of  call  for 


120  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Delos  and  has  a  museum  with  interesting  Delian 
antiquities. 

The  Cyclades  are  practically  extensions  of  the 
Grecian  peninsula  of  Attica  and  the  island  of 
Eubcea,  stretching  toward  the  southeast  and  having 
Milos  as  a  southwestern  outlier.  Off  the  extremity 
of  Attica  is  Kea,  the  ancient  Keos,  and  of  about 
seventy  square  miles  area,  rising  into  the  central 
summit  of  St.  Elias,  elevated  1,865  feet.  There 
are  upon  it  many  old-time  Grecian  ruins,  and  here 
was  born  the  poet  Simonides  in  the  sixth  century 
B.  C.  A  little  way  southward  is  Kythnos,  having 
a  surface  of  about  thirty  square  miles,  now  called 
Thermia,  from  its  warm  springs.  Seriphos,  to  the 
south,  Siphnos  to  the  southeast,  and  Kimolos,  south- 
west, all  now  bear  the  same  names  as  in  antiquity, 
display  the  lava  floods  of  the  early  period,  when  they 
were  volcanoes,  and  contain  iron  deposits,  like  Kea 
and  Kythnos,  while  Milos  is  just  beyond  Kimolos, 
this  whole  formation  being  volcanic.  To  the  east- 
ward of  Milos  stretches  a  series  of  smaller  islands, 
the  rugged  Pholegandros,  which  was  the  ancient 
Polykandros,  having  next  it  Sikinos,  where  a  temple 
of  Apollo  is  still  preserved  as  a  Christian  church, 
and  Nios,  the  ancient  los,  its  culminating  summit 
also  called  St.  Elias,  and  rising  2,300  feet. 

Southward  from  los  is  Thera,  now  called  San- 
torin,  from  its  patron,  St.  Irene,  this  group  of  islands 
covering  about  thirty-five  square  miles  and,  owing 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO  121 

to  its  fertility,  having  about  15,000  population. 
These,  like  the  others,  are  parts  of  a  volcano  en- 
vironing a  crater  which  had  an  eruption  about  2,000 
B.  C.  that  overwhelmed  various  ancient  settlements, 
the  result  being  the  enormous  crater,  around  and 
within  which  are  the  present  islands,  the  subter- 
ranean furnace  having  been  working  much  of  the 
time  since.  Originally  this  crater  enclosed  a 
spacious  basin,  but  the  rim  is  broken  down  on  the 
western  side  in  two  places,  letting  in  the  sea.  There 
have  been  frequent  eruptions,  and  in  the  seventeenth, 
eighteenth  and  nineteenth  centuries  they  produced 
within  this  basin  the  cluster  of  Kaymeni  Islands,  a 
new  volcano  arising  in  1866  that  was  named  after 
Prince  George  of  Greece,  from  which  smoke  and 
fumes  still  issue.  There  are  also  numerous  hot 
springs  and  sulphurous  gas  vents  elsewhere,  attesting 
the  unruly  disturbance  still  going  on  beneath. 
Thera's  chief  eminence,  also  called  St.  Elias,  is  ele- 
vated 1,910  feet,  and  the  inner  walls  of  the  crater  de- 
scend to  the  sea  in  sheer  cliffs,  some  of  them  thirteen 
hundred  feet  high.  Externally  the  slope  is  gradual, 
and  here  the  volcanic  deposits  have  made  great  fer- 
tility, particularly  favoring  the  growth  of  the  vine. 
The  approach  to  the  crater  entrance,  by  the  steamer 
coming  from  Greece,  to  the  northwest,  gives  a  most 
remarkable  view,  in  its  supreme  beauty  of  light  and 
shade,  form  and  color,  the  gentle  green  outer  slopes 
of  the  crater  gradually  opening  and  disclosing  the 


122  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

enormous  rock-bound  basin  within,  its  almost  per- 
pendicular walls  stratified  in  light  and  dark  hues, 
while  perched  on  top  of  the  entrance  precipice  is 
the  village  of  Apano  Meria,  surrounded  by  wind- 
mills. Within  is  Phira,  the  modern  capital,  also 
on  a  hill  adjoining  the  basin,  a  village  of  about  one 
thousand  people.  When  Thera  was  settled  no  one 
knows,  but  the  first  dwellers  in  historic  times  were 
the  Pho3nicians.  The  ancient  capital  on  the  south- 
ern slope  of  St.  Elias,  with  a  grand  outlook  over  the 
sea  as  far  southward  as  Crete,  has  extensive  ruins 
recently  excavated,  disclosing  temples  of  Apollo, 
Dionysos  and  the  Egyptian  gods,  a  theatre,  Agora 
and  other  structures,  and  inscriptions  going  back 
as  early  as  the  eighth  century  B.  C.  To  the  east- 
ward of  Thera  is  Anaphi,  where  a  temple  of  Apollo 
has  been  converted  to  the  use  of  a  convent,  and  to 
the  northwest  is  Amorgos,  one  of  the  earliest 
colonies  of  the  Milesians  and  the  Samians.  Anaphi 
and  Amorgos  are  the  two  easternmost  islands  of  the 
present  Grecian  kingdom. 

Northward  of  this  series  of  the  Cyclades  there 
stretches  another  series  eastward  from  Seriphos  and 
Siphnos.  Here  are  probably  the  most  important 
islands  of  the  Archipelago,  Paros  and  Antiparos, 
having  to  the  eastward  Naxos,  separated  by  a  strait 
barely  five  miles  wide.  Paros  has  about  eighty 
square  miles  of  area,  and  is  practically  a  single 
mountain,  rising  into  a  summit  elevated  2,530  feet, 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO 

composed  mostly  of  crystalline  limestone  and  marble, 
sloping  evenly  down  on  all  sides  to  a  maritime 
plain.  Like  so  many  others,  this  is  also  called  St. 
Elias,  that  being  the  favorite  name  for  mountains 
throughout  Greece  and  the  Archipelago,  coming  from 
the  great  prophet  of  the  Greek  church.  The  sum- 
mit rises  gray  and  bare,  but  on  the  lower  slopes  and 
the  level  plain  below  corn  and  wine  are  produced,  the 
surface  being  almost  treeless.  There  is,  however, 
not  very  much  cultivation  of  the  soil.  The  crys- 
talline limestone  of  the  mountain  is  coarse-grained, 
but  it  is  traversed  by  the  rich  seams  of  white  Parian 
marble,  which  is  purer  and  more  translucent  than 
other  marbles,  and  was  anciently  used  for  statuary 
and  decoration.  These  quarries  are  on  the  northern 
slope  of  the  mountain,  and  the  marble  was  obtained 
from  subterranean  tunnels,  driven  into  the  rock  at 
a  descending  angle,  and  the  blocks,  quarried  by 
lamplight,  thus  got  the  name  of  Lychnites,  from 
lyclinos,  a  "  lamp."  Several  of  these  old  tunnels 
can  still  be  seen.  There  are  three  good  harbors  on 
the  coast,  Perikia,  on  the  western  side,  being  the 
capital  and  chief  port,  occupying  the  site  of  the 
ancient  city  of  Paros,  where  the  ruins  have  been 
recently  excavated.  Here,  on  a  rock  beside  the  sea, 
are  the  relics  of  a  medieval  castle,  built  almost 
entirely  of  marble  remains  taken  from  earlier 
structures.  Upon  the  lofty  headland  of  Kephalos, 
guarding  the  harbor,  are  the  abandoned  ruins  of  a 


124  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

monastery  of  St.  Anthony,  amid  other  ruins  of  an 
old  castle  of  the  \7enetians,  that  was  gallantly, 
though  fruitlessly,  defended  against  the  attack  of 
the  Turkish  pirate  Barbarossa  in  1537.  The  gem 
of  the  place,  however,  is  the  small  Byzantine  church 
of  the  Empress  Helena,  built  in  the  third  century, 
with  a  sixth  century  church  opening  out  of  it,  the 
latter  adjoined  by  a  diminutive  baptistery.  The 
apse  in  each  church  is  arranged  as  a  chapter-house, 
with  semicircular  stone  seats  like  a  little  Greek 
theatre.  Here  are  preserved  many  interesting  early 
Christian  architectural  treasures. 

Antiparos,  the  ancient  Oliaros,  is  separated  by  a 
strait  barely  a  mile  wide,  off  the  southwestern  coast 
of  Paros.  It  has  seventeen  square  miles  area,  and 
is  about  seven  miles  long,  with  a  small  population. 
Antiparos  has  a  famous  stalactite  cavern,  on  the 
southern  side,  reached  by  a  narrow  passage,  broken 
by  several  steep  and  somewhat  dangerous  descents. 
The  chief  grotto  is  more  than  three  hundred  feet 
long,  nearly  as  wide,  and  about  eighty  feet  high.  It 
presents  a  scene,  when  lighted,  of  dazzling  splendor, 
and  was  well  known  to  the  ancients,  but  all  trace 
was  lost  in  the  middle  ages  and  until  its  rediscovery 
in  1673.  There  was  a  large  population  on  these 
islands  before  the  Grecian  era,  and  the  poet  Archi- 
lochos  won  fame  at  Paros  in  the  seventh  cen- 
tury B.  C. 

Naxos  is  the  largest  island  of  the  Archipelago, 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO  125 

having  an  area  of  nearly  one  hundred  and  eighty 
square  miles,  and  its  mountain  ridge  rises  into  sum- 
mits elevated  nearly  3,000  feet,  from  which  a  grand 
view  is  had  over  the  encircling  galaxy  of  islands, 
twenty-two  being  in  sight,  and  also  across  the 
^Egean,  to  the  eastward,  the  distant  shore  of  Asia 
Minor.  Its  history  and  formation  are  similar  to 
Paros,  and  Naxos  still  grows  the  vines  which  succeed 
the  classic  vineyards  where  Bacchus  found  the  for- 
saken Ariadne.  The  present  capital  and  chief  port, 
on  the  northwestern  coast,  is  the  village  of  Xaxos, 
which  has  risen  on  the  ruins  of  the  ancient  capital. 
The  Naxian  marbles  were  used  for  statuary  and  roof- 
ing slabs,  and  at  one  of  the  quarries  there  is  still 
lying  an  unfinished  colossal  statue  of  Apollo.  The 
island  is  a  great  producer  of  emery,  and  ever  since 
the  remotest-  ages  it  has  furnished  a  large  supply, 
the  output  being  controlled  by  the  Grecian  govern- 
ment. 

Syra,  the  chief  mart  of  the  Cyclades,  is  north- 
west of  Paros  and  Xaxos,  an  island  of  about  thirty 
square  miles,  having  at  either  end  a  hill.  Upon  the 
eastern  coast  is  an  excellent  land-locked  harbor, 
which  has  made  the  busy  port  of  Hermonpolis,  hav- 
ing the  modern  town  picturesquely  built  on  the  en- 
closing slopes.  There  are  18,000  population,  and  it 
is  a  port  of  call  for  various  steamers  traversing  the 
Mediterranean.  Xorthward  of  the  town  the  surface 
ascends  to  the  summit  of  the  northern  hill,  the 


126  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Pyrgos,  elevated  1,615  feet,  from  which  there  is  a 
splendid  view.  Northeast  of  Syra  are  Tenos  and 
Andros,  the  islands  which  are  a  prolongation,  toward 
the  southeast,  of  Eubcea.  Tenos,  covering  about 
eighty  square  miles,  is  rugged,  and  at  the  eastern 
verge  has  the  Tsknias  summit,  rising  2,340  feet.  The 
terraced  slopes  are  covered  with  vineyards  and  corn- 
fields, and  the  capital,  Tenos,  is  on  the  southern  coast. 
This  island  and  Andros  for  several  centuries  were 
Venetian,  so  that  the  people  are  more  Italian  than 
Greek.  The  ruins  of  their  capital,  with  the  walls 
of  a  Venetian  citadel  and  some  other  buildings  and 
churches,  are  on  a  hill  slope  in  the  centre  of 
the  island.  A  narrow  strait  separates  Tenos  from 
Andros  to  the  northwest,  an  island  of  about  one 
hundred  and  sixty  miles  surface,  which  is  also 
rugged,  its  most  elevated  summit  being  the  Kouvaras, 
3,280  feet  high. 

The  eastern  side  of  the  2Egean  Sea,  toward  the 
shore  of  Asia  Minor,  is  scattered  over  with  the 
Sporades.  There  is  Scarpenti,  the  ancient  Carpa- 
thus,  which  is  a  mass  of  bare  mountains,  the  highest 
summit  rising  about  4,000  feet,  and  has  a  small 
population.  Its  coasts  are  generally  rock-bound  and 
inaccessible,  but  there  are  a  few  shallow  harbors. 
Like  all  this  eastern  group  of  the  Sporades,  it  is 
controlled  by  the  Turks.  To  the  northward  is  Cos, 
an  island  of  about  ninety  square  miles  surface,  of 
different  character,  and  famous  now,  as  in  antiquity, 


Hermoupolis,  Island  of  Syra 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO  127 

for  its  fertility.  It  contains  many  relics  of  the 
early  Grecian  era,  has  a  Greek  bishop  and  a  Turkish 
pasha.  In  the  olden  time  it  produced  wines,  dyes, 
and  delicate  fabrics,  which  Strabo  mentioned,  in 
speaking  of  its  abundant  fruitfulness,  and  it  now 
exports  a  great  deal  of  fruits  and  wines  to  Egypt. 
This  island  was  the  birthplace  of  Hippocrates,  and 
its  harbor  was  first  fortified  by  Alcibiades.  In  the 
ancient  city  of  Cos  was  the  noted  Temple  of 
Esculapius,  with  its  School  of  Physicians  and  its 
votive  anatomical  medals.  Northwest  of  Cos  are  the 
smaller  islands  of  Kalymnos  and  Leros.  They  are 
rocky,  but  have  many  fertile  nooks,  Leros  being 
noted  for  its  honey.  It  was  Strabo  who  quoted  the 
epigram  describing  the  ancient  Lerians  as  dishonest, 
although  they  worshipped  Diana  and  erected  a 
temple  in  her  honor. 

The  Lerians  are  bad; 

Not  some,  but  all  except  Procles; 

And  Procles  is  a  Lerian! 

The  famous  island  of  Patmos  is  northwest  of 
Leros,  and  thirty  miles  off  the  coast  of  Asia  Minor. 
It  is  an  irregular  mass  of  almost  barren  rock 
twenty-eight  miles  in  circumference.  The  fame  of 
Patmos  comes  from  the  fact  that  under  the  Roman 
rule  it  was  a  place  of  banishment,  and  hither  was 
sent  St.  John.  After  the  crucifixion  the  evangelist 
lived  in  Asia  Minor,  and  much  of  the  time  at 
Ephesus.  According  to  Jerome,  in  the  time  of 


128  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Domitian  he  was  arrested  by  command  of  the  Roman 
proconsul  and  taken  to  Rome,  where  he  was 
plunged  into  a  vessel  of  boiling  oil,  but,  as  this  did 
not  harm  him,  he  was  banished,  95  A.  D.,  to  Patmos. 
After  the  death  of  Domitian  he  was  released,  and 
died  in  the  reign  of  Trajan  at  a  very  advanced  age. 
At  Patmos  he  wrote  the  Apocalypse  and  also  one  or 
more  of  his  other  sacred  works.  In  the  side  of  a 
hill  there  is  pointed  out  by  the  Greek  monks,  who 
have  their  monastery  in  the  neighborhood,  the 
cavern  which  tradition  describes  as  the  spot  where 
St.  John  received  the  Revelation.  The  outlook  from 
this  monastery  is  superb.  It  stands  near  the  edge  of 
an  extinct  crater,  and  displays  the  curious  shape  of 
the  island,  which,  while  two  miles  long,  is  compressed 
into  such  a  narrow  isthmus  at  the  centre  that  the 
neck  of  land  is  barely  three  hundred  feet  wide. 
Far  over  the  sea,  and  all  about,  are  spread  in  full 
view  the  islands  of  the  famous  Archipelago.  There 
are  four  monasteries  on  Patmos  and  a  sacred  College 
of  the  Apocalypse,  with  a  number  of  theological 
students,  who  study  within  view  of  the  cave  where 
the  Revelation  was  unfolded  to  John.  The  island 
contains  also  two  hundred  churches  that  are  at- 
tended by  the  sparse  population,  which  rarely  reaches 
three  thousand  people,  almost  all  being  of  the  Greek 
church.  The  Temple  of  Artemis,  on  the  island,  con- 
tinued until  the  eleventh  century,  when  the  Chris- 
tians threw  down  the  idol.  While  Patmos  is  sub- 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO  129 

ject  to  Turkey,  the  people  are  almost  all  Greeks. 
Upon  the  eastern  side  of  the  island  they  have  their 
chief  landing  place,  a  small  village  with  a  safe 
harbor. 

Northward  from  Patmos  is  the  much  larger 
island  of  Samos,  an  elongated  mountain  ridge 
stretching  westward  about  twenty-seven  miles,  and 
broadening  until  it  embraces  over  two  hundred 
square  miles  surface.  A  long  and  narrow  peninsula 
protrudes  from  the  coast  of  Asia  Minor,  and  the 
strait  of  the  Little  Boghaz  separates  it  from  Samos, 
while  on  the  other  side  the  Great  Boghaz  intervenes 
between  Samos  and  Nicaria,  with  outlying  clusters 
of  smaller  islands;  so  that,  altogether,  this  prolonga- 
tion of  the  mountain  ridge  goes  over  westward  almost 
to  the  Cyclades.  The  Samos  ridge  rises  into  the 
summit  of  Mount  Kerkis,  4,725  feet,  the  ancient 
Cercetius.  The  island  has  a  population  of  sixty 
thousand,  nearly  all  Greeks,  and  there  are  several 
good  harbors,  the  chief  town  being  Chora.  It  was 
very  enterprising  in  the  early  days,  the  Samians 
founding  several  colonies  on  the  islands  and  shores 
of  the  ^Egean  and  the  Propontis,  and  in  the  sixth 
century  B.  C.  their  navy  was  the  most  powerful  in 
these  waters.  Their  capital  of  Samos,  near  Chora, 
was  one  of  the  finest  Hellenic  cities.  Polycrates, 
who  then  ruled,  enriched  it  with  a  Temple  of  Juno, 
constructed  artificial  moles,  enclosing  the  harbor,  and 

built  an  aqueduct  and  a  fortified  palace.     The  island 
VOL.  II— 9 


130  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

was  the  birthplace  of  the  philosopher  Pythagoras, 
and  was  noted  for  its  pottery.  The  Persians  captured 
it,  the  Greeks  retook  it,  the  Romans  became  the 
rulers,  and  in  the  middle  ages  the  Saracens.  Samos, 
in  1873,  was  severely  stricken  by  an  earthquake,  but 
afterward  recovered.  It  is  prosperous  and  some  of 
the  people  quite  wealthy,  developing,  among  other 
industries,  the  growing  of  muscatel  wines  and 
tobacco  and  the  making  of  cigarettes.  The  inhabi- 
tants are  nearly  all  Greek  Christians,  there  being 
few  Moslems,  and  the  Turkish  suzerainty,  usually 
only  nominal,  is  represented  by  a  governor,  appointed 
by  the  sultan,  called  the  Prince  of  Samos,  a  tribute 
of  $12,500  annually  being  paid  the  sultan,  who 
must  name  a  Christian  as  the  prince.  The  people 
are,  however,  dissatisfied,  as  most  Greeks  are,  when 
under  even  nominal  Turkish  control,  and  especially 
when,  as  in  this  case,  they  can  invoke  protection  by 
the  European  powers.  They  generally  have  worried 
the  prince  until  he  resigns,  and  during  a  compara- 
tively brief  recent  period  they  have  driven  out 
seven  of  these  badgered  officials.  In  May,  1908,  a 
sort  of  insurrection  arose  against  the  newly  appointed 
Prince  Kopassis  Effendi.  The  local  government  un- 
der Greek  control  pronounced  its  opposition  to  him, 
and  he  sought  Turkish  intervention;  so  that  a  fleet 
came  on  May  29  and  bombarded  the  port  and  capital 
of  Vathy,  killing  and  wounding  about  sixty  people, 
including  some  women  and  children.  The  prompt 


THE  ARCHIPELAGO  131 

interference  of  the  powers,  however,  restored  order, 
the  chief  malcontents  then  escaping  to  Athens.  In 
another  outbreak,  however,  in  April,  1909,  the  un- 
fortunate Kopassis  Effendi  was  slain. 

Another  protruding  peninsula  of  Asia  Minor, 
north  of  Samos,  and  in  front  of  the  harbor  of  the 
ancient  city  of  Smyrna,  extends  far  westward,  and 
just  beyond  is  Scio,  the  island  which  in  antiquity 
was  known  as  Chios,  noted  for  its  artistic  develop- 
ment. A  strait  barely  four  miles  wide  separates  it 
from  the  mainland.  Its  capital  of  Kastro  is  on  a 
good  harbor,  fronting  the  strait,  and  is  defended  by 
a  medieval  castle,  whence  the  name.  Scio  is  a 
spacious  island,  having  four  hundred  square  miles 
area  and  fifty  thousand  population,  mostly  Turks. 
Its  uneven  and  rocky  surface  displays  much  pic- 
turesque scenery,  there  being  beautiful  valleys  and  a 
development  of  great  fertility.  The  crops  have  to 
be  irrigated,  however,  the  water  coming  largely  from 
wells,  though  the  hills  provide  various  small  streams. 
The  island  presents  a  scene  of  almost  perpetual  ver- 
dure, being  largely  pasturage  and  vineyards.  In  the 
olden  time  the  wine  of  Chios  was  esteemed,  and  it 
still  enjoys  good  repute.  The  original  settlers  were 
Pelasgians,  and  afterward  came  the  lonians  from 
Asia  Minor.  Their  chief  city  (Chios)  claimed  to 
be  the  birthplace  of  Homer.  After  the  Hellenic 
period  Rome  dominated,  and  the  Turks  captured 
Scio  in  the  early  fourteenth  century,  being  succeeded 


132  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

by  the  Genoese,  in  1346,  who  held  it  two  centuries, 
when  the  Turks  recovered  possession.  During  the 
Greek  revolution  it  rose  against  the  Turks  in  1822, 
but  was  soon  subdued,  great  atrocities  attending  the 
conquest.  Within  two  months  twenty-three  thou- 
sand Sciotes  were  put  to  the  sword,  neither  age  nor 
sex  being  spared ;  forty-seven  thousand  were  sold  into 
slavery,  and  five  thousand  fled  to  Greece.  By  the 
close  of  August,  1822,  the  former  Christian  popula- 
tion of  a  hundred  thousand  was  reduced  to  two 
thousand,  and  since  then  the  people  have  been  nearly 
all  Turks. 

Northward  from  Scio,  and  separated  from  the 
Asia  Minor  coast  by  a  strait  from  seven  to  ten  miles 
wide,  is  another  island  shaped  like  a  crescent,  with 
broadened  ends.  This  is  Mytilene,  the  ancient 
Lesbos,  having  nearly  three  hundred  square  miles 
area,  and  about  forty  thousand  people,  the  population 
having  been  larger  prior  to  the  Greek  revolution. 
The  deep  bay  of  Porto  Coloni,  on  the  southern  side, 
around  which  the  crescent  island  enfolds,  penetrates 
to  its  centre,  while  on  the  southeastern  verge  is  Porto 
lero,  another  deeply  indented  harbor.  Both  have 
narrow  mouths,  but,  expanding  as  they  stretch  in- 
land, they  make  good  roadsteads.  The  surface 
presents  a  varied  display  of  wooded  hills  and  beauti- 
ful plains,  the  soil  being  fruitful.  Mytilene,  or 
Kastro,  the  chief  town,  adjoins  the  strait  on  the 
eastern  coast,  facing  Asia  Minor,  and  it  was  seri- 


EUBCEA  TO  OLYMPUS  133 

ously  damaged  by  an  earthquake  in  IS 67.  While 
the  population  is  Turkish,  the  principal  merchants 
are  Greeks.  Lesbos  was  one  of  the  islands  of  the 
^Eolians,  and  at  an  early  period  had  populous  cities, 
of  which  Mytilene  and  Methynana  were  the  most 
important,  because  they  had  good  harbors.  After 
the  Hellenic  rule  came  Home,  and  in  the  thirteenth 
century  it  was  held  by  the  Venetians,  but  the  Turks 
by  treachery  got  possession  in  1462.  It  was  the 
birthplace  of  the  historians  Theophanes  and  Helleni- 
cus,  the  philosopher  Theophrastus,  and  the  poets 
Alcseus  and  Sappho. 

EUBCEA    TO    OLYMPUS. 

The  greatest  island  of  the  Grecian  Archipelago  is 
Eubcea  or  Kegropont,  stretching  for  more  than  a 
hundred  miles  along  the  eastern  verge  of  the  Hel- 
lenic kingdom.  The  strait  of  separation,  the 
Euripus,  is  practically  a  long,  varied  and  beautiful 
lake,  enclosed  on  either  hand  by  the  splendid  high- 
lands of  Greece  and  the  island.  It  narrows  to 
barely  three  hundred  feet,  and  through  this  pass  the 
tide  rushes,  at  times  with  a  velocity  of  six  to  eight 
miles  an  hour  in  one  direction,  and  then  suddenly, 
without  any  known  cause,  starts  on  the  opposite  way 
at  almost  the  same  speed.  These  rapid  and  changing 
currents  depend  not  only  upon  the  ebb  and  flow  of 
the  tide,  but  also  upon  the  winds  and  the  varying 
inflow  of  the  streams  that  pour  their  torrents  out  of 


134  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  bordering  hills.  The  voyager  of  to-day  is  still 
detained,  like  Agamemnon  of  old,  by  the  "  evil 
leisure  "  of  these  winds  and  waves. 

All  the  harbors  of  Eubrea  are  on  its  western  coast, 
facing  Greece,  the  eastern  coast  being  a  succession  of 
precipitous  cliffs  that  are  the  projecting  terminations 
of  the  mountain  foothills.  The  surface  of  the  island 
is  a  series  of  mountain  masses  presenting  attractive 
scenery  and  rising  into  several  summits,  of  which 
the  highest  is  Delph,  near  the  centre,  the  ancient 
Dirphys,  elevated  5,725  feet.  A  railway  coming 
across  from  Athens  terminates  at  the  Euripus,  which 
is  crossed  by  a  swing  bridge  to  the  ancient  town  of 
Chalkis,  still  the  capital,  its  houses  scattered  pic- 
turesquely over  the  hills.  The  diamond-shaped 
Kastro  is  down  by  the  water,  being  more  than  half 
surrounded  by  the  sea,  its  massive  towers  and  walls, 
built  by  the  Venetians,  having  been  strengthened  by 
the  Turks,  who  captured  it  in  1470.  As  early  as 
the  fifth  century  B.  C.,  there  was  a  wooden  bridge 
across  the  strait,  to  the  heights  of  the  Kanethos, 
now  known  as  Karababa.  This  bridge  was  fortified 
and  part  of  the  narrow  channel  was  filled  up,  the 
idea  then  being  to  keep  out  the  ships  of  Athens  so 
they  could  not  cut  off  communication  between  Eubrea 
and  Boeotia  opposite,  to  the  northward.  Chalkis 
then  was  the  capital,  having  been  early  established  as 
a  port  by  the  Phrenicians.  There  have  been  few 
ancient  relics  found  here,  however.  The  place  is 


EUBCEA  TO  OLYMPUS  135 

mostly  Venetian  and  Turkish,  and  the  Venetian  em- 
blem, the  Lion  of  St.  Mark,  abounds.  To  the  south- 
ward, near  the  shore,  is  a  copious  spring  supplying 
the  town,  which  is  said  to  be  the  ancient  sacred 
spring  of  Aretlmsa. 

Upon  the  coast,  southeast  of  Chalkis,  are  the  re- 
mains of  Eretria,  which,  next  to  the  capital,  was  the 
leading  Eubo3an  city  of  the  ancient  Greeks,  and  it 
displays  numerous  ruins,  including  a  theatre,  gym- 
nasium, baths,  temples  of  Dionysos  and  ApoHo,  and 
an  imposing  Acropolis,  the  tower  commanding  a 
splendid  view  of  the  opposite  Grecian  coast  for  many 
miles.  Aristotle  lived  in  the  neighborhood  of  Eretria, 
and  some  of  the  tombs  which  have  been  uncovered 
here  may  have  included  his  burial  place.  In  one 
was  found  the  body  of  a  person  covered  with  leaves 
of  pure  gold,  a  ring  on  the  finger,  seven  diadems,  a 
stylus  and  the  small  figure  of  a  philosopher.  At  the 
foot  of  one  of  the  tombs  a  broken  stone  bore  the 
inscription  "  Beote  Aristotelous."  Karystos,  the 
chief  town  of  southern  Eubrea,  is  also  a  survival  of 
the  ancient  times,  but  its  ruins  are  mostly  medieval. 
To  the  northeast  rises  the  highest  summit  of  the 
southern  island,  the  forked  peak  of  Ocha,  elevated 
5,260  feet,  having  a  Chapel  of  St.  Elias  near  the  top, 
and  also  an  ancient  temple  dating  from  the  sixth 
century  of  our  era.  The  northeastern  foothills  of 
this  mountain  project  into  the  sea,  in  the  promontory 
of  Kavo  Doro,  with  a  lighthouse.  It  was  here  that 


136  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  false  beacons  were  lighted  by  Xauplius,  to  decoy 
the  Greek  ships  returning  from  Troy,  but  as  his 
enemies,  whom  he  desired  to  slay,  Agamemnon  and 
Ulysses,  escaped  from  the  wrecks,  he  threw  himself 
into  the  sea.  Upon  the  western  coast,  north  of 
Chalkis,  is  the  pleasant  village  of  Vathondas,  near 
which  was  the  Harpagion,  whence  Jupiter  carried 
off  the  beautiful  youth  Ganymede.  Inland,  toward 
the  northeast,  towers  the  massive  summit  of 
the  Delph.  Xerochori,  the  capital  of  north- 
ern Euboea,  is  upon  a  fertile  plain  near  the 
shore,  having  near  by  the  remains  of  ancient 
Histlea  and  its  port  of  Oreos,  on  the  western  coast. 
Besides  the  Grecian  relics  there  are  ruins  of  Vene- 
tian-Turkish fortifications,  and  to  the  southward  the 
Roman  baths  of  Sulla  at  Lipsos.  These  baths  are 
still  a  popular  watering  place.  All  around  the  north- 
ern Eubosan  coast  and  islands  are  sardine  fisheries, 
the  fishermen  having  their  huts  along  the  shore  and 
coming  hither  from  all  quarters  in  the  summer. 
Here  stood  the  ancient  Temple  of  Artemis  Proseoa, 
near  the  northeastern  verge  .of  the  island,  the  "  east- 
ward-looking Artemis,"  and  off  the  protruding  cape, 
now  known  as  Artemision,  was  fought,  in  July, 
480  B.  C.,  the  first  naval  battle  between  the  Greeks 
and  the  Persians.  It  was  a  long  contest,  with  vary- 
ing success,  the  Greeks,  led  by  Themistocles,  being 
helped  by  a  storm  wrecking  two  hundred  Persian 
galleys,  and  from  this,  as  a  prelude,  the  Greeks 


EUBCEA  TO  OLYMPUS  137 

persevered  until  they  won  their  subsequent  naval  vic- 
tories and  halted  the  Persian  invasion.  In  full 
view  from  the  promontory  are  the  northern  group  of 
Sporades,  of  which  Skyros,  Skopelos  and  Skiathos 
are  the  chief. 

Across  the  strait  that  separates  northern  Eubrea 
from  the  mainland  protrudes  the  Kavo  Stavro, 
bounding  the  entrance  of  the  broad  Gulf  of  Volo,  on 
its  western  side.  The  tongue  of  land  terminating  in 
this  bold  cape,  the  ancient  Poseidion,  encloses  the 
entrance  strait,  the  Boghazi  of  Trikeri,  which  goes 
behind  Stavro,  at  first  westward  and  then  northward, 
around  the  heights  of  Trikeri,  into  the  gulf.  This 
spacious  inland  water  was  the  Pegassean  Gulf  of 
the  classic  Greeks,  and  a  long  and  narrow  peninsula 
forms  its  eastern  boundary,  cutting  it  off  from  the 
^Egean,  and  then  turning  westward  and  again  doub- 
ling upon  itself  northward  to  make  the  broad  back 
of  a  hill,  on  which  is  the  Trikeri  village.  The  Gulf 
of  Volo,  thus  surrounded  by  hills,  is  a  beautiful  and 
fully  protected  sheet  of  water,  its  shores  disclosing 
the  ruins  of  various  ancient  cities  and  having 
modern  villages  that  are  aspiring  to  the  rank  of 
watering  places.  In  an  inner  harbor  of  its  northern 
coast  is  Volo,  the  modern  port,  having  the  massive 
Mount  Pelion  for  a  noble  background.  The  summit, 
rising  5,350  feet,  had  an  altar  where  sacrifices  were 
offered  to  Zeus.  This  is  Thessaly,  and  Volo,  with 
twenty-five  thousand  people,  is  its  harbor,  the  town 


138  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

being  a  growth  entirely  since  the  modern  Grecian 
independence,  having  passed  from  Turkish  to 
Grecian  control  in  1881.  In  the  neighborhood  are 
the  remains  of  three  ancient  cities,  Demetrias,  lolkos 
and  Pegasse,  all  of  them  having  interesting  ruins. 
Philip  V  of  Macedon  called  Demetrias,  Chalkis  and 
Corinth  the  "  Three  fetters  of  Greece."  lolkos  had 
a  famous  Temple  of  Artemis,  and  was  noted  in  the 
legends  of  Jason,  who  went  in  search  of  the  golden 
fleece.  Pegasa3,  getting  its  name  from  various  brack- 
ish springs  coming  out  of  neighboring  rocks,  gave 
title  to  the  Pegassean  Gulf. 

There  are  various  battlefields  in  the  hills  border- 
ing the  plain  of  Thessaly,  north  and  west  of  Volo. 
Behind  the  city  is  the  spacious  Lake  Karla,  and  west- 
ward from  it  rises  the  Mavro  Vonni,  the  "  black 
mountain."  The  crags  displayed  were  anciently  the 
Kynoskephalaa  or  "  dogs'  heads,"  and  here,  in  197 
B.  C.,  was  fought  the  historic  battle  in  which  the 
Romans  defeated  the  Greeks  under  Philip  V,  the  Ro- 
man combined  forces  of  elephants  and  cavalry  break- 
ing the  Macedonian  phalanx  and  gaining  the  victory. 
Southward  from  these  hills  is  the  valley  of  the  an- 
cient river  Enipeus,  and  bordering  it  is  the  battle- 
field of  Pharsalos,  about  forty  miles  west  of  Volo. 
In  the  mythical  times  this  was  said  to  be  the  home 
of  Achilles,  and  it  had  quite  a  history  in  the  various 
Greek  wars.  Its  great  fame,  however,  came  from 
the  conflict  between  Caesar  and  Pompey,  August  9, 


EUBCEA  TO  OLYMPUS  139 

B.  C.  48,  in  which  Pompey's  forces  were  annihilated, 
and  he  fled  to  the  coast  and  embarked  for  Egypt. 
Farther  inland,  in  the  Thessalian  vale,  is  Trikkala, 
where  Esculapius  was  worshipped.  Fourteen  miles 
to  the  northwest  is  Kalabaka,  where  are  the  noted 
monasteries  of  Meteora  — "  in  the  air."  In  the  tur- 
bulent middle  ages,  in  the  fourteenth  century,  these 
monasteries  were  founded,  on  the  summits  of  various 
pillar-like  rocks,  rising  precipitously  from  the  valley, 
there  having  been  twenty-four  of  them,  though  half 
had  been  abandoned  by  the  sixteenth  century,  and 
at  present  only  seven  remain,  of  which  two  are  unin- 
habited, and  only  about  thirty  monks  are  now  resi- 
dent. The  largest  and  highest  is  Meteoron,  founded 
in  1388,  on  a  summit  rising  1,820  feet;  the  richest 
is  St.  Stephen,  an  early  Byzantine  foundation,  and 
the  most  interesting  is  St.  Barlaam,  its  chapel  hewn 
in  the  rock,  and  adorned  with  paintings  illustrating 
the  life  of  St.  Ephraim.  From  their  lofty  situa- 
tion, on  the  top  of  these  naked  gray  cliffs,  there  is 
a  grand  view  over  the  Thessalian  plain.  The  col- 
umnar rocks  of  Meteora  are  in  two  groups,  and  ac- 
cess is  had  by  various  ticklish  ladders,  which,  how- 
ever, careful  visitors  avoid,  preferring  to  be  lifted 
in  a  net  drawn  up  by  a  rope  and  windlass. 

From  this  elevated  perch  one  looks  down  upon 
a  mass  of  the  most  luxuriant  vegetation  in  the  valley, 
through  which  flows  the  Peneios  of  the  ancients,  the 
most  considerable  river  of  Thessaly.  It  goes  out 


140  THE  MEDITERRANEAN" 

past  Trikkala  eastward,  and  then  northeast  through 
the  plain  and  bordering  mountains  to  the  ^gean, 
near  the  northern  boundary  of  modern  Hellas.  It 
passes  Larissa,  the  Turkish  Yenishehr,  or  "  new 
town,"  and  is  known  in  modern  times  as  the  Salam- 
vrias,  flowing  with  a  broad  and  rapid  current. 
Within  the  last  decade  most  of  the  Turks  have  re- 
tired from  Larissa,  leaving  the  Greeks  and  Jews  in 
control,  and  the  town  enjoys  the  active  trade  of  the 
rich  agricultural  region  surrounding.  Its  ancient 
Acropolis  hill  is  now  crowned  by  the  church  and 
school  of  the  archbishop,  and  there  are  scant  remains 
of  an  old  amphitheatre  on  the  southwestern  verge. 
The  change  of  population  is  testified  to  by  the  aban- 
donment of  most  of  the  mosques,  only  four  out  of 
twenty-seven  being  in  use.  Larissa  was  one  of  the 
original  Pelasgean  settlements  of  Thessaly.  Here 
lived  the  noted  physician,  Hippocrates,  in  the  fifth 
and  fourth  centuries  B.  C.  The  Peneios,  below 
Larissa,  flows  north  and  northeast,  and  goes  out  to 
.  the  sea  through  the  magnificent  defile,  the  Vale  of 
Tempe,  the  Grecian  name  meaning  "  the  cuttings." 
It  is  a  mountain  gorge,  nearly  five  miles  long,  cut 
steeply  down  into  the  ridge,  and  having,  on  the  one 
hand,  Mount  Ossa  and,  on  the  other,  Olympus. 
Through  it  rushes  a  stream,  most  impetuous  when  in 
full  volume,  with  picturesque  cliffs  rising  on  high, 
giving  an  elaborate  display  of  plant  and  foliage,  and 
seen  afar,  through  the  splendid  gorge,  is  a  bewitch- 


The  Vale  of  Tempe. 


EUBCEA  TO  OLYMPUS  141 

ing  vista  view  of  the  distant  sea.  Lovely  glades 
are  found  in  the  rocky  environment,  where  the  cliffs 
fall  back  and  make  a  restricted  valley  floor.  To 
one  of  these  glades  came  Apollo,  seeking  expiation 
for  the  slaughter  of  the  Delphic  python,  and,  having 
found  it,  an  altar  was  erected,  to  which  proceeded, 
every  eight  years,  a  solemn  embassy,  marching  far 
over  the  hills  from  Delphi.  Neptune,  we  are  told, 
broke  down  this  gorge  to  let  the  waters  out,  which 
had  previously  been  dammed  up  by  the  mountain 
ridge,  and  made  a  lake,  covering  the  plain  of  Thes- 
saly.  At  the  mouth  of  the  Peneios  is  the  village  of 
Laspochori,  where  sacrifices  were  offered  in  antiq- 
uity to  the  sea  god  and  games  held  in  his  honor 
by  the  grateful  people.  To  the  southward  of  the 
Vale  of  Tempe  rises  the  noble  form  of  Mount  Ossa, 
its  pyramidal  summit  of  Kissavos  elevated  6,400 
feet.  To  the  northward  is  the  massive  Mount  Olym- 
pus, the  home  of  the  immortal  Jupiter,  rising  9,790 
feet.  The  Vale  of  Tempe  forms  the  national  bound- 
ary between  Greece  and  Turkey. 

Olympus  is  a  lofty  ridge,  stretching  northwest- 
ward, a  mountain  of  grand  proportions,  its  broad 
summit  being  covered  with  snow  during  most  of  the 
year.  Its  sides  rise  in  tremendous  precipices, 
broken  by  vast  ravines,  the  lower  portions  being 
densely  wooded  and  the  top  a  naked  rock.  It  was 
the  very  natural  idea  of  the  early  Greeks  that  this, 
the  greatest  mountain  of  their  classic  land,  a  lofty 


142  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

peak  rising  above  the  clouds  of  the  lower  atmos- 
phere, should  be  the  seat  of  their  deity.  Homer  dis- 
tinguishes between  Olympus,  the  mountain,  and 
the  ether  above,  which  was  the  heaven  of  the  gods. 
The  later  poets,  however,  generally  use  the  terms  as 
practically  equivalent.  In  the  elaborate  Grecian 
mythology  Olympus  was  the  common  home  of  the 
multitude  of  their  gods.  Each  one  had  special 
haunts,  but  all  were  adjuncts  of  the  great  court  of 
Zeus,  or  Jupiter,  on  Olympus,  where  were  held  the 
assemblies  and  elaborate  feasts  of  the  gods. 

SALONIKI,  ATHOS  AND  PHILIPPI. 

The  Turkish  domain,  north  of  Thessaly,  is  Mace- 
donia, a  region  of  perennial  revolt  by  the  Greeks, 
who  form  the  major  part  of  the  population,  against 
the  Turkish  misrule.  When  the  despotism  becomes 
unbearable,  there  follows  an  outbreak,  which  draws 
the  attention  of  the  European  Powers.  Intervention 
is  made,  the  Turks  are  restrained,  and  then  the  civil- 
ized world  directs  its  attention  elsewhere,  until  the 
inevitable  recurrence  of  misrule  brings  another  out- 
break, massacre  and  intervention.  The  northern 
shore  of  the  ^Egean  is  here  indented  with  deep  bays, 
separated  by  long  protruding  peninsulas.  It  was 
in  ancient  times  the  land  of  Thrace,  extending  east- 
ward to  the  Hellespont.  Stretching  far  into  the 
land,  north  of  the  Grecian  boundary,  is  the  Gulf 
of  Saloniki.  The  voyage  into  this  extensive  gulf 


SALONIKI,  ATHOS  AND  PH1L1PPI  143 

presents,  at  the  entrance,  a  splendid  display  of  the 
massive  Mount  Olympus,  and,  sailing  through  the 
bay,  the  visitor  arrives,  in  its  northernmost  harbor, 
at  Saloniki,  which,  next  to  Constantinople,  is  the 
chief  city  of  European  Turkey. 

Saloniki  occupies  a  fine  position,  the  houses,  in 
terraces,  rising  on  the  sloping  hills  encircling  the 
bay,  and  from  its  original  name  of  Therma,  given 
from  the  adjacent  hot  springs,  the  bay  was  in  the 
olden  time  known  as  the  Therm  aic  Gulf.  The  city 
enjoys  prosperous  trade,  which  has  attracted  a  pop- 
ulation of  120,000,  and  it  is  one  of  the  chief  centres 
of  Turkish  commerce,  being  the  entrepot  of  Mace- 
donia and  the  extensive  adjacent  provinces.  It  had 
a  very  ancient  origin,  being  controlled  by  Athens, 
and  in  315  B.  C.,  Cassander  of  Macedon,  who  mar- 
ried the  daughter  of  Philip,  enlarged  and  beautified 
it  for  the  Macedonian  capital  and  chief  naval  sta- 
tion, naming  it  Thessalonica,  after  his  wife.  When 
the  Romans  captured  it,  they  made  it  the  capital 
of  their  Illyrian  provinces.  Here  came  Cicero  in 
his  exile,  and  the  Apostle  Paul  visited  it  about  52 
A.  D.,  and  addressed  epistles  to  its  church.  In  390 
A.  D.,  the  people  resenting  the  Roman  rule  and  a 
riot  following,  the  Emperor  Theodosius  made  a 
frightful  massacre,  decimating  the  population.  It 
afterward  grew  greatly,  and  in  the  early  tenth  cen- 
tury, when  captured  by  the  Saracens,  the  population 
exceeded  two  hundred  thousand.  As  a  result  of  the 


144  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Crusades,  the  Normans  held  it  later,  then  the  Vene- 
tians, and  in  1430  the  Turks  got  possession  and  have 
ruled  ever  since.  The  citadel  and  walls  were  built 
by  the  Venetians,  and  are  now  much  dilapidated.  It 
was  from  Saloniki,  in  April,  1909,  that  the  Young 
Turkish  army  marched  to  capture  Constantinople  and 
dethrone  Sultan  Abdul  Hamid,  and  he  was  brought  a 
prisoner  to  this  city  when  the  revolution  was  suc- 
cessful. The  special  fame  of  Saloniki  is  the  num- 
ber and  beauty  of  its  churches,  various  early  Chris- 
tian structures  now  being  mosques,  although  there  is 
a  large  Grecian  and  also  a  considerable  Jewish  pop- 
ulation. The  Church  of  St.  George,  known  as  the 
Rotunda,  resembles  the  Roman  Pantheon,  and  was 
originally  a  temple  of  the  sect  known  as  the  Cabiri. 
The  Church  of  St.  Sophia,  now  a  mosque,  is  noted 
as  the  place  where,  in  the  original  building  on  the 
site,  St.  Paul  is  said  to  have  preached.  There  are 
many  interesting  remains  of  antiquity.  At  the 
western  end  of  the  Via  Egnotia  is  a  Roman  trium- 
phal arch,  believed  to  have  been  erected  in  honor  of 
Augustus,  commemorating  the  battle  of  Philippi. 
It  is  built  of  huge  blocks  of  marble,  eighteen  feet 
high  and  twelve  feet  wide.  Another  arch  of  brick, 
faced  with  marble,  has  displays  of  sculptured  camels, 
and  is  supposed  to  typify  the  victory  of  Constantino 
over  the  Sarmatians.  The  old  citadel,  even  in  its 
dilapidation,  is  one  of  the  picturesque  adornments 
of  this  busy  city. 


SALONIKI,  ATHOS  AND  PHILIPPI  145 

Enclosing  the  Gulf  of  Saloniki,  on  its  eastern  side, 
there  projects  far  into  the  ^Egean  a  broad  peninsula, 
divided  at  its  extremity  into  three  long  subordinate 
peninsulas,  each  connected  by  a  narrow  isthmus  with 
the  mainland.  This  region,  stretching  southeast 
from  Saloniki,  is  about  thirty  miles  long  and  from, 
four  to  seven  miles  wide,  mountainous,  and  cut  by 
numerous  ravines,  which,  extending  under  the  sea, 
make  long  bays  between  the  terminating  peninsulas. 
At  the  extremity  of  the  easternmost  peninsula  is  the 
famous  Hagion  Oros  of  the  ancient  Greeks,  the 
Turkish  Aineros,  known  to  us  as  Mount  Athos,  rising 
6,350  feet.  It  is  a  splendid  mountain,  seen  from 
afar  over  the  sea,  which  almost  entirely  surrounds 
it,  built  up  of  gneiss  and  slates,  the  peak  being  white 
limestone  and  the  sides  flanked  with  forests  of  chest- 
nut, oak  and  pine,  some  of  the  trees  growing  to  im- 
mense size.  Various  species  of  aromatic  herbs  are 
raised  here  in  abundance,  from  which  the  monks  ex- 
tract the  oils  and  essences,  using  them  for  medicinal 
purposes,  perfumery  and  incense.  The  narrow  isth- 
mus, connecting  the  mountain  with  the  main  penin- 
sula, was  cut  for  a  canal  by  Xerxes,  through  which 
his  galleys  passed  for  the  invasion  of  Greece,  and 
some  remains  of  the  canal  are  yet  visible.  The  old 
tradition  is  that  the  giant  Athos  hurled  this  moun- 
tain at  the  gods  on  Olympus  and  it  dropped  in  this 
place  at  the  edge  of  the  sea.  In  ancient  times  the 

peninsula  had  several  flourishing  cities. 
VOL.  11—10 


146  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

When  Home  became  Christianized  Athos  was 
gradually  dotted  over  with  hermitages  and  monas- 
teries, most  of  them  founded  and  endowed  by  the 
Byzantine  emperors.  Athanasius,  in  968,  founded 
the  first  monastery,  St.  Laura.  It  was  here  that  am- 
bitious malcontents  of  the  court  at  Constantinople, 
favorites  in  disgrace,  and  others  took  refuge  to  await 
a  change  in  affairs  and  the  return  of  princely  favor. 
There  are  a  number  of  the  monasteries  surviving, 
after  an  existence  of  fifteen  centuries,  under  the  aus- 
pices of  the  Greek  church,  and  their  monks  number 
several  thousand,  coming  from  Greece,  Belgium, 
Roumania  and  Russia,  where  the  monasteries  of 
Athos  possess  estates.  No  female  has  been  permitted 
to  set  foot  on  Athos  for  over  fifteen  hundred  years. 
An  administrative  assembly,  called  the  Probaton, 
rules  them,  being  cohiposed  of  delegates  from  each 
monastery  chosen  every  four  years,  and  they  pay 
tribute  annually  to  the  Turkish  government.  In  the 
middle  ages  these  establishments  were  the  seat  of 
Greek  science  and  the  centre  of  Byzantine  Christian 
knowledge,  possessing  large  and  valuable  libraries 
that  still  continue  the  repositories  of  many  old  and 
beautiful  manuscripts.  A  serious  earthquake  occurred 
at  Mount  Athos  in  November,  1905,  greatly  damag- 
ing parts  of  these  monasteries  and  killing  about  a 
dozen  monks,  who  were  in  their  cells  when  rocks 
rolled  down  upon  them  from  the  mountain,  crushing 
the  structures. 


SALONIKI,  ATHOS  AND  PHILIPPI  147 

Among  the  many  prized  treasures  at  Athos  is  a 
piece  of  the  true  cross.  The  tradition  is  that  in  the 
year  326  the  Empress  Helena,  mother  of  the  Em- 
peror Constantine  the  Great,  at  the  age  of  79,  made 
a  pilgrimage  to  Jerusalem  and  there  discovered  the 
true  cross.  The  church  festival  of  the  "  Invention 
of  the  Cross,"  instituted  in  honor  of  this  discovery, 
is  held  May  3.  When  Helena  visited  the  various 
sacred  localities  at  Jerusalem  every  trace  of  the  great 
events  of  the  Crucifixion  had  been  obliterated  by  the 
heathen,  and  a  Temple  of  Venus  was  upon  Mount 
Calvary.  A  Jew  who  had  treasured  up  all  the  folk 
lore  and  traditions  is  said  to  have  pointed  out  to  her 
the  probable  place  of  Christ's  sepulchre.  This  spot 
being  excavated,  three  crosses  were  discovered,  and 
the  title  which  that  of  Jesus  bore  was  found  lying 
by  itself.  The  Cross  of  Christ  was  distinguished 
from  the  others  by  miraculous  cures  wrought  by 
touching  it.  A  church  was  built  over  the  spot,  on 
Calvary,  and  a  part  of  the  cross  deposited  there ;  an- 
other part  was  sent  to  Rome,  and  a  church  also  built 
to  receive  the  relic;  while  the  remainder  was  taken 
to  Constantinople,  and  put  by  Constantine  in  the 
head  of  a  statue  of  himself.  From  this  piece  vari- 
ous fragments  at  times  went  to  different  parts  of  the 
world,  and  thus  Mount  Athos  got  its  treasure. 

Northeast  from  Athos,  rises  in  the  sea  the  almost 
circular  mountain  island  of  Thasos,  its  summit  ele- 
vated 3,500  feet.  This  is  the  most  northerly  island 


148  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

of  the  Grecian  Archipelago,  covering  about  eighty 
square  miles  surface,  and  it  is  not  far  distant  from 
the  Thracian  shore.  Thasos  was  long  famed  for  its 
gold  mines,  opened  by  the  Phrenicians,  and  when 
well  worked  in  the  early  times  producing  for  the 
kings  of  Macedonia  $300,000  a  year.  Turkey  now 
controls  it,  but  the  gold  seems  to  have  gone.  Near 
Thasos,  on  the  mainland,  is  the  little  port  of  Kavalla, 
where  the  tourist  lands  who  wishes  to  explore  the 
noted  ruins  and  battlefield  of  Philippi,  a  short  dis- 
tance inland.  Philippi  was  a  city  of  ancient  Mace- 
donia, enlarged  by  Philip,  the  father  of  Alexander 
the  Great,  from  whom  it  received  its  name.  When 
he  captured  this  part  of  Thrace  it  was  called 
Crenidas,  or  the  "  place  of  the  fountains,"  being  so 
named  from  its  numerous  springs  and  streams,  and 
he  found  these  waters  to  be  prolific  gold  bearers, 
from  which  he  got  a  thousand  talents  a  year.  Philip 
fortified  it,  as  a  protection  to  his  frontier,  against 
the  forays  of  the  Thracian  tribes  from  the  interior. 
It  was  at  Philippi  the  fate  of  the  Roman  republic 
was  decided,  in  the  autumn  of  42  B.  C.,  in  the  bat- 
tles between  Brutus  and  Cassius  on  the  one  side,  and 
Antony  and  Octavius  on  the  other.  There  were  two 
engagements  on  the  same  field,  twenty  days  apart,  in 
the  first  of  which  Brutus  gained  advantage  over 
Octavius,  and  Antony  over  Cassius.  In  the  second 
conflict  Brutus  was  totally  routed.  The  creation  of 
the  Roman  empire  followed,  and  Octavius,  afterward 


SALONIKI,  ATHOS  AND  PHILIPPI  149 

called  Augustus,  made  Philippi  a  Roman  colony. 
The  city  was  twice  visited  by  St.  Paul,  as  recorded 
in  The  Acts;  it  was  the  first  place  in  Europe  where 
he  preached  the  Gospel;  and  to  the  church,  founded 
here,  he  addressed  an  epistle.  It  is  now  a  mass  of 
ruins,  of  which  the  most  prominent  are  a  temple  of 
Claudius,  the  remains  of  an  amphitheatre,  and  some 
huge  marble  columns. 

The  northern  portion  of  the  ^Egean  Sea  is  a  great 
bay,  almost  entirely  surrounded  by  highlands,  and 
enclosed  on  either  hand  by  the  Peninsulas  of  Athos 
and  Gallipoli.  In  front  of  it  are  islands,  and  some 
of  these  are  noted.  Within  the  bay,  and  near  the 
Thracian  coast,  is  Samothrace,  the  ancient  Electris, 
and  Dardania,  a  sterile,  rugged  region  covering  about 
thirty  square  miles  and  lacking  good  harbors  on  its 
forbidding  coast.  Out  beyond  is  the  curiously 
formed  island  of  Lemnos,  a  region  of  hills,  almost 
bisected  by  two  deeply  indented  bays,  Paradisi  on 
the  northern  shore  and  San  Antonio  on  the  southern. 
It  covers  about  two  hundred  square  miles,  and  the 
people  are  mostly  fishermen,  though  parts  of  the  sur- 
face are  tilled.  It  has  a  Turkish  governor  residing 
at  Castro  on  the  western  coast.  Lemnos  in  an- 
tiquity was  sacred  to  Vulcan,  who  had  a  workshop 
here,  described  in  the  mythological  traditions.  The 
original  people  were  Thracians,  succeeded  by  the 
fabulous  Minyae,  and  then  by  Pelasgians.  Pliny 
says  it  contained  a  labyrinth  supported  by  one  hun- 


150  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

dred  and  fifty  columns,  the  gates  being  so  easily 
moved  that  a  child  could  open  them.  From  the  most 
remote  period  it  produced  the  Terra  Lemnia,  a  spe- 
cies of  earth  believed  to  possess  extraordinary  medici- 
nal virtues.  The  Persians  captured  the  island,  but 
Miltiades  delivered  it,  and  ultimately  Lemnos  be- 
came an  Ottoman  dependency.  The  peninsula  of 
Gallipoli  is  the  narrow,  elongated  strip  of  land  pro- 
truding far  southwestward  from  Thrace  and  point- 
ing directly  toward  distant  Lemnos.  The  Greek 
word  for  a  peninsula  is  Chersonesus,  and  this  was 
known  anciently  as  the  Thracian  Chersonesus. 
Alongside  it,  forty  miles  northeast  of  Lemnos,  is  the 
entrance  to  the  famous  Dardanelles,  enclosed  by  the 
Peninsula  of  Gallipoli  on  the  European  side  and 
Asia  Minor  on  the  other,  the  route  to  Constantinople 
and  the  Black  Sea. 

THE   SIEGE    OF    TKOY. 

The  eastern  shore  of  the  ^Egean  Sea  is  Asia  Minor, 
and  its  interior  surface  is  generally  a  fertile  plain. 
The  old  Greek  name  of  Asia  Minor  was  Anatolia, 
meaning  "  the  east,"  or  "  the  land  of  the  rising  sun," 
for  thus  they  looked  out  upon  it  from  their  Archi- 
pelago and  finally  overran  and  controlled  it.  When 
the  Eomans  got  full  possession,  they  called  it  their 
province  of  Asia,  a  word  that  is  believed  to  have 
been  derived  from  the  Sanskrit  ushas,  meaning  "  the 
dawn,"  and  which  ultimately  came  to  be  the  desig- 


THE  SIEGE  OF  TROY  151 

nation  of  the  entire  continent.  In  this  original 
province  of  Asia  was  the  earliest  establishment  of  the 
Christian  religion,  and  the  followers  of  Christ  and 
His  Apostles  were  first  designated  as  Christians  at 
Antioch.  In  the  Apocalypse  St.  John  records  with 
the  Kevelation,  that  he  was  commanded :  "  What 
thou  seest  write  in  a  book,  and  send  unto  the  seven 
churches  which  are  in  Asia,"  these  being  named  as 
Ephesus,  Smyrna,  Pergamos,  Thyatira,  Sardis, 
Philadelphia  and  Laodicea.  The  surface  of  Asia 
Minor  is  a  high  plateau,  gradually  descending  west- 
ward to  the  coastal  plain,  having  some  mountains, 
and  on  the  south  the  long  and  elevated  range  of 
Mount  Taurus.  The  western  coast  plain  has  one  of 
the  most  pleasant  climates  in  the  world.  Its  fruits 
were  celebrated  in  ancient  times,  and  are  still  its  im- 
portant product.  The  northern  part  was  Mysia; 
south  of  this  was  Lydia,  and  beyond  Caria,  with 
Lycia  on  the  southern  coast.  In  Lydia  and  Caria 
was  the  celebrated  Ionic  federation  of  cities,  peopled 
by  Greek  colonists,  including  Smyrna,  Ephesus, 
Miletus  and  others.  In  the  northern  portion,  beyond 
the  Hellespont  and  near  the  Propontis,  was  the  city 
of  Nicsea,  named  for  his  wife  by  Lysimachus,  general 
of  Alexander  the  Great,  the  chief  city  of  Bithynia, 
and  long  a  Byzantine  bulwark  against  the  Arabs, 
who  conquered  it  in  1080,  but  afterward,  in  turn, 
succumbed  to  the  Crusaders.  The  Turks,  however, 
got  it  in  the  thirteenth  century,  and  it  is  now  a  semi- 


152  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

decayed  village  of  barely  a  thousand  people,  called 
Isnik.  ISTicsea  was  noted  as  the  city  where  the  first 
and  most  famous  Council  of  the  Church  was  called, 
by  the  Emperor  Constantine  the  Great,  in  325,  being 
attended  by  318  bishops  and  2,000  clergy,  who  fixed 
the  date  for  celebrating  Easter  and  formulated  the 
"  Nicene  Creed." 

The  northwestern  corner  of  Asia  Minor  was  the 
Troad,  the  country  of  Troy,  which  occupied  the  coast 
lands  along  the  ^gean  Sea,  the  Hellespont,  Pro- 
pontis,  and  farther  eastward.  The  city  of  Troy  was 
at  the  base  of  Mount  Ida,  far  enough  from  the  sea 
to  allow  of  the  movements  of  large  armies  on  the 
coastal  plain  in  front,  and  was  in  a  position,  suffi- 
ciently elevated,  to  command  a  good  view  of  the  lower 
lands  all  around.  Before  it  flowed  two  small  rivers, 
the  Simois  and  the  Scamander,  parallel  for  some  dis- 
tance, and  then  uniting  and  emptying  into  the  Helles- 
pont. This  was  "  Old  Ilium,"  the  city  of  the  fa- 
mous Trojan  War,  described  by  Homer.  Later,  in 
the  seventh  century  B.  C.,  according  to  Strabo,  there 
was  another  city  founded  here,  which  was  afterward 
designated  as  "  K"ew  Ilium."  The  ancient  Ilium 
stood  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Scamander,  now  called 
the  Mendereh.  "  New  Ilium  "  was  near  the  junction 
of  the  two  rivers,  but  in  the  progress  of  time  the 
streams,  changing  their  beds,  sought  separate  chan- 
nels, and  the  Simois,  now  the  Dunbrok,  flowed  out 
independently  to  the  Hellespont,  a  brook  about 


THE  SIEGE  OF  TROY  153 

twelve  miles  long.  The  ruins  of  Troy  are  near  the 
village  of  Hissarlik,  and  are  in  and  around  the 
mound  of  Hissarlik,  which  Schliemann,  and  his  suc- 
cessor Dorpfeld,  excavated.  It  is  in  a  position  four 
miles  back  from  the  ^Egean  coast  and  about  an 
equal  distance  from  the  Dardanelles.  Far  over  the 
sea,  on  the  one  hand,  is  seen  the  peak  of  Samothrace, 
while  inland  rises  the  massive  Kaz  Dagh,  the  Mount 
Ida.  The  excavators  found  that  successive  cities, 
superposed  one  upon  the  other,  had  been  built  on  this 
site  by  the  Trojans,  Greeks  and  Romans,  thus  making 
the  mound,  which  subsequent  centuries  had  covered 
with  soil.  No  less  than  nine  cities  were  thus  un- 
covered, in  strata,  the  lowest  believed  to  be  of  at  least 
twenty  centuries  before  the  Christian  era,  and 
Homer's  Troy  about  the  fourth  from  the  top.  Some 
four  miles  off  shore,  and  thirteen  miles  from  the 
Dardanelles,  is  the  island  of  Tenedos,  two  miles  in 
circumference,  and  now  having  several  thousand  pop- 
ulation, mostly  Greeks.  Its  little  port  is  defended 
by  two  forts,  and  it  has  had  fame  in  many  wars.  It 
was  behind  this  island  the  Greeks  withdrew  and  hid 
their  fleet  in  the  Trojan  "War,  when  they  made  the 
Trojans  believe  they  had  abandoned  the  siege  and 
had  left  the  wooden  horse  as  an  offering.  Xerxes 
made  the  island  his  naval  base  when  he  invaded 
Greece.  It  was  a  naval  stronghold  in  every  subse- 
quent war,  and  the  Venetians  and  Turks  long  con- 
tested its  possession,  the  latter  ultimately  conquering. 


154  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

On  the  Mendereh,  near  Bunarbashi,  about  five  miles 
south  of  Troy,  are  a  hot  and  cold  spring,  which  are 
supposed  to  be  those  mentioned  in  the  Iliad. 

Whether  the  siege  of  Troy  was  a  myth  or  a  reality 
has  long  been  debated,  but  Homer's  Iliad  and 
Odyssey,  telling  of  its  closing  scenes,  are  believed  to 
have  a  foundation  of  fact  and  will  never  cease  to 
have  interest  as  the  most  renowned  Greek  classics. 
We  are  told  that  Dardanus,  who  came  from  Arcadia, 
was  the  ancestor  of  the  Trojan  kings.  His  son  was 
Erichthomus,  succeeded  by  Tros,  and  he  by  Ilus,  who 
founded,  on  the  plain  of  Troy,  the  city  of  Ilium. 
Ilus  was  followed  by  Laomedon,  and  to  him,  by  com- 
mand of  Jupiter,  Neptune  and  Apollo  were  made 
temporarily  subject.  Neptune  built  the  walls  of 
Ilium  and  Apollo  cared  for  the  herds,  but  when  their 
time  of  service  was  completed  Laomedon  refused 
to  pay  what  was  due.  In  revenge,  Neptune  sent  a 
sea  monster  to  harry  the  Trojans  and  ravage  their 
fields,  and  to  avert  this  the  king  made  a  public  offer 
to  anyone  who  would  rid  the  land  of  this  scourge  to 
present  him  with  the  immortal  horses  that  had  been 
given  by  Jupiter  to  Tros.  The  oracle  was  consulted, 
who  declared  that  a  virgin  of  noble  blood  must  be  sac- 
rificed, the  lot  falling  on  Hesione,  Laomedon's  daugh- 
ter, but  she  was  rescued  by  Hercules,  who  oppor- 
tunely intervened  and  killed  the  monster.  The 
treacherous  king  gave  the  hero  a  pair  of  mortal 
horses,  and  Hercules,  disgusted  at  the  perfidy,  came 


THE  SIEGE  OF  TROY  155 

with  six  ships,  captured  Troy,  killed  Laomedon,  and 
placed  his  son  Priam  on  the  throne,  he  alone  of  the 
king's  sons  having  protested  against  his  father's  trick. 
Priam  and  his  queen  Hecuba  had  numerous  children, 
of  whom  Paris,  by  the  abduction  of  Helen,  wife  of 
Menelaus  of  Sparta,  brought  on  the  memorable  siege 
of  Troy.  The  beautiful  Helen  was  a  daughter  of 
Jupiter.  The  mythological  tale  is  that  the  nymph 
Leda  was  the  wife  of  Tyndarus,  King  of  Sparta,  and 
Jupiter,  who  became  enamoured  of  her,  metamor- 
phosed Leda  into  a  swan.  She  is  fabled  to  have  laid 
two  eggs,  one  of  which  produced  Pollux  and  Helen, 
said  to  be  the  children  of  Jupiter,  and  the  other 
Castor  and  Clytemnestra,  children  of  Tyndarus. 
Clytemnestra  was  given  by  her  father  to  Agamemnon, 
and  Helen  to  Menelaus,  both  the  sons  of  Atreus,  king 
of  Mycenae,  the  former  succeeding  his  father  on  that 
throne,  while  the  latter  succeeded  to  the  throne  of 
Sparta.  On  Agamemnon's  return  from  the  siege  of 
Troy,  Clytemnestra,  actuated  by  jealousy,  slew  him 
in  his  bath,  and  she  was  afterward  slain  by  Orestes, 
son  of  Agamemnon.  Her  tragic  story  was  always  a 
favorite  with  dramatists,  Voltaire  and  others  having 
used  it.  Pollux  and  Helen  were  immortals,  and  the 
twins  Castor  and  Pollux  were  famous  heroes  in  Greek 
mythology,  having  sailed  with  the  Argonauts,  and 
also  having  appeared  at  Troy.  They  were  wor- 
shipped as  the  tutelary  gods  of  hospitality,  presiding 
on  festal  occasions  and  at  gymnastic  games,  being  the 


156  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

helpers  of  mankind  and  the  calmers  of  tempests. 
Jupiter  permitted  Castor,  who  was  mortal,  to  alter- 
nately pass  one  day  with  his  immortal  brother  on 
Mount  Olympus  and  the  next  day  on  the  earth. 
They  finally  were  translated  to  Heaven  and  placed 
among  the  stars,  where  they  became  the  constellation 
Gemini,  the  Twins. 

Paris  was  a  youth  of  the  greatest  comeliness,  but 
an  oracle  had  foretold  that  he  would  cause  the  death 
of  his  kindred  and  the  ruin  of  his  country.  This 
made  his  royal  parents  banish  him,  and  he  grew  up 
as  a  young  shepherd  on  Mount  Ida,  ignorant  of  his 
birth,  but  admired  by  all  for  his  beauty.  The 
mythological  tradition  tells  how  the  sea  nymph 
Thetis  was  given  in  marriage  to  Peleus,  and  there 
was  a  great  wedding  feast,  to  which  all  the  immortals 
were  invited  excepting  Eris,  the  goddess  of  Discord. 
She  came  unbidden,  however,  and  threw  among  them 
the  famous  golden  apple,  inscribed  "  To  the  Fairest." 
This  made  a  rivalry  among  the  goddesses,  who  all 
claimed  the  prize,  and  three  of  them  particularly  per- 
sisted in  the  claim  —  Venus,  Juno  and  Athena  — 
so  that  soon  a  discord  reigned  at  the  feast.  None 
dared  decide  this  momentous  problem,  not  even  Jupi- 
ter himself,  and  the  rivals  were  told  to  select  a  judge 
from  among  the  mortals,  and  they  chose  Paris. 
When  the  time  for  judgment  came,  Juno  appeared  in 
regal  majesty,  and  for  a  favorable  verdict  offered 
Paris  wealth  and  kingly  power;  Athena  told  him  to 


THE  SIEGE  OF  TROY  157 

be  wise  in  honoring  her,  and  she  would  give  him  wis- 
dom lasting  forever,  great  glory  among  men,  and 
renown  in  war;  Venus  finally  beamed  upon  him  in 
all  her  beauty,  and  arrayed  with  her  magical  Cestus, 
which  none  could  resist,  and  said  he  should  have  for 
wife  the  fairest  woman  in  the  world.  The  entranced 
Paris  fell  on  his  knees  and  offered  Venus  the  golden 
apple,  the  others  vanishing  in  an  ill-boding  cloud. 
From  that  time  Paris  sought  only  the  counsel  of 
Venus,  and  from  her  first  learned  that  he  was  the 
son  of  Priam,  and  he  returned  to  seek  his  royal 
kindred,  being  welcomed  to  Troy  as  a  long  lost  prince. 
Then  came  Cassandra,  the  young  sister  of  Hector, 
who  had  once  disdained  Apollo,  and  the  god  punished 
her  by  making  her  foresee  all  things  truly,  but  having 
her  prophecies  ever  disbelieved.  She  soon  broke  into 
lamentations,  foreseeing  the  terrible  future,  but  the 
Trojans  gave  no  heed,  as  they  regarded  her  visions 
only  as  spells  of  madness.  Paris  was  the  unques- 
tioned hero,  and  after  a  period  of  rejoicing  at  his  re- 
turn, Venus  bade  him  take  ship  and  search  for  his 
destined  bride. 

He  sailed  across  the  ^Egean  to  Greece,  and  after 
much  journeying  and  adventure  came  to  Sparta, 
where  he  was  kindly  welcomed  by  Menelaus  and  the 
fair  Helen.  Here  he  abided  for  a  long  time,  in  their 
company,  until  Menelaus  went  away  on  a  visit  to 
Crete.  Then,  dishonoring  his  host,  Paris  won  the 
heart  of  Helen,  and  persuaded  her  to  leave  Sparta, 


158  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  sail  over  the  sea  with  him  to  Troy.  Helen  was 
noted  as  the  fairest  woman  in  the  world,  and  in  all 
Greece  there  was  none  so  beautiful.  Before  she  left 
her  mother's  home  she  had  been  wooed  by  all  the 
greatest  Grecian  heroes,  and,  fearing  for  her  peace  of 
mind,  all  the  suitors  had  been  bound  by  an  oath  that 
they  were  to  respect  her  choice  and  go  to  the  aid  of 
her  husband  if  ever  she  should  be  stolen  away. 
King  Menelaus  returned  to  Sparta,  from  Crete,  to 
find  that  his  treacherous  guest  had  carried  off  his 
wife,  and,  the  news  quickly  spreading,  all  Greece  was 
fired  with  indignation.  The  heroes,  mindful  of  the 
oath,  determined  to  cross  the  ^Egean,  capture  Troy, 
and  rescue  Helen.  They  spent  ten  years  in  collecting 
a  vast  armament,  and  at  the  end  of  that  period  had 
gathered  a  fleet  of  nearly  twelve  hundred  ships,  with 
more  than  a  hundred  thousand  men,  the  forces  as- 
sembling at  Aulis  in  Bceotia,  with  Agamemnon  se- 
lected as  commander.  Ulysses  at  first  joined 
unwillingly,  being  loath  to  leave  his  wife  and  child 
at  Ithaca.  Achilles  was  the  greatest  of  the  warriors 
—  the  son  of  Thetis  and  Peleus  —  now  grown  to 
manhood,  and  a  wonder  of  strength,  being  also  re- 
garded as  invulnerable,  for  his  mother,  forewarned 
of  his  death  in  the  Trojan  War,  had  dipped  him  in  the 
river  Styx,  when  an  infant,  so  that  he  could  take  no 
hurt  from  any  weapon,  holding  him  only  by  his  little 
heel,  which  alone  could  be  wounded.  Another  hero 
was  Ajax,  the  giant,  and  among  the  Grecian  host 


THE  SIEGE  OF  TROY  159 

were  also  the  wise  Xestor,  Diomedes,  Patroclus  and 
Palamedes.  After  much  delay  and  varied  fortunes, 
the  great  Grecian  fleet  set  sail,  and,  crossing  the  sea, 
invaded  the  plain  of  Troy,  driving  the  Trojans  and 
their  allies  within  the  city  walls. 

Meanwhile  the  aged  Priam  and  Hecuba,  in  Troy, 
had  given  shelter  to  Paris  and  his  stolen  bride,  the 
fair  Helen,  and  during  the  long  Grecian  prepara- 
tions had  learned  to  love  her,  though  not  without 
misgiving  as  to  the  outcome,  and  long  before  the  in- 
vaders arrived  they  were  prepared  to  defend  their 
home  and  city.  .There  were  also  many  heroes  among 
the  Trojans,  including  ^Eneas  and  Deiphobus,  Sarpe- 
don  and  Antenor,  Glaucus  and  Priam's  famous  son 
Hector,  chief  wrarrior  of  all,  and  regarded  as  the  bul- 
wark of  Troy.  Even  the  immortals  took  sides ;  Juno 
and  Athena,  against  whom  was  made  the  judgment  of 
Paris,  favored  the  Greeks,  as  also  did  Neptune,  the 
sea  god.  But  Venus  befriended  the  Trojans  with  all 
her  power,  and  persuaded  Mars  to  do  likewise. 
Jupiter  and  Apollo  gave  special  aid  to  heroes  whom 
they  loved,  now  on  one  side  and  now  on  the  other. 
At  the  opening  of  the  siege  of  Troy  Menelaus  and 
Ulysses  went  into  the  city  and  demanded  that  the 
fair  Helen  should  be  given  back  to  her  rightful  hus- 
band, but  this  the  Trojans  refused.  During  nine 
years  the  Greeks  spent  their  time  in  reducing  the 
neighboring  towns  and  besieging  the  city,  which  held 
out  against  every  device  and  onslaught.  The  date  of 


160  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  beginning  of  these  operations  is  fixed  by  the 
chroniclers  in  119-1  B.  C.  There  were  numerous 
single  combats  and  other  interesting  episodes,  and  in 
the  tenth  and  final  year  of  the  siege  many  things 
transpired,  and  the  Greeks  fell  to  quarrelling  about 
the  spoils.  A  special  feud  was  started  between  Aga- 
memnon and  Achilles,  which  proved  almost  disastrous 
to  the  Greeks,  and  with  this  dispute  the  story  of  the 
siege,  in  Homer's  Iliad,  opens.  Achilles  left  the  field 
in  anger  and  refused  to  fight,  sulking  in  his  tent. 
But,  as  it  unexpectedly  happened,  Hector,  in  a  foray, 
killed  Achilles'  dear  friend  Patroclus.  This  roused 
the  Grecian  hero,  and  he  returned  to  the  fight,  going 
forth  clad  in  armor,  which  had  been  wrought  for  him 
by  Vulcan,  at  the  prayer  of  his  mother  Thetis.  He 
sought  for  Hector  everywhere,  and  by  the  river 
Scamander  met  and  slew  him,  afterward  dragging 
the  dead  body  across  the  plain,  at  the  tail  of  his  char- 
iot. Then  came  out  of  Troy,  in  deepest  grief,  the 
aged  Priam,  alone  by  night  to  the  tent  of  Achilles, 
seeking  in  his  sorrow  to  pacify  the  victor  and  ran- 
som his  son's  body,  when  the  great  Achilles  relented 
and  granted  a  truce,  that  the  funeral  honors  should 
not  be  interrupted. 

But  Achilles  did  not  long  survive  his  victory,  for 
he  was  treacherously  slain  by  Paris,  who  lay  in  wait 
in  a  temple  sacred  to  Apollo,  and  from  a  hiding  place 
sent  a  poisoned  arrow  that  pierced  the  hero's  heel, 
where  alone  the  water  of  the  Styx  had  not  given  pro- 


THE  SIEGE  OF  TROY  161 

tection,  and  from  the  venom  Achilles  died.  Paris 
himself,  in  turn,  was  soon  afterward  slain  by  another 
poisoned  arrow.  But  Troy  still  held  out,  and  then 
the  cunning  Ulysses  devised  a  plan  of  capture, 
through  the  ruse  of  the  wooden  horse.  The  Grecian 
army  one  day  broke  camp,  as  if  they  had  abandoned 
the  siege,  and  going  aboard  their  fleet,  sailed  away, 
but  when  out  of  sight,  the  ships  changed  their  course 
and  anchored  behind  the  island  of  Tenedos.  They 
had  built  the  wooden  horse,  like  a  prodigious  idol, 
and  through  a  carefully  concealed  door,  opening  into 
the  hollow  interior,  crept  Ulysses,  Menelaus  and  sev- 
eral other  armed  chiefs.  Within  the  walls  of  Troy 
there  was  great  rejoicing,  for  the  enemy  had  aban- 
doned the  siege  and  gone  away,  their  camp  being 
deserted.  The  city  gates  were  thrown  open,  and  the 
people  rushed  out,  wandering  over  the  plain,  after 
their  long  captivity,  and  finding  the  horse  in  the 
enemy's  camp,  they  marvelled  much  at  its  size  and 
splendor.  They  proposed  moving  the  horse  into  the 
city,  as  a  trophy,  but  old  Laocoon,  a  priest  of  Nep- 
tune, protested,  telling  them  to  take  heed  lest  they 
suffer,  as  this  was  evidently  a  piece  of  Grecian  treach- 
ery. Just  then  there  was  found,  by  the  shore,  a 
wretched  Greek,  in  bedraggled  garments  and  suffer- 
ing from  wounds,  who  besought  them  to  spare  his 
life.  He  said  he  would  tell  the  truth,  that  he  was  a 
Greek,  named  Sinon,  who  had  been  abused,  mal- 
treated and  left  behind,  by  the  malice  of  Ulysses,  that 
VOL.  11—11 


162  THE  MEDITERRANEAN" 

the  Greeks  had  built  the  wooden  horse  as  an  offering 
to  Athena,  and  had  made  it  so  big  to  prevent  its  be- 
ing moved  out  of  the  camp.  This  news  gave  the 
Trojans  much  joy,  and  as  they  were  consulting  how 
to  get  the  horse  within  the  city  two  huge  serpents 
came  out  of  the  sea  and,  crawling  over  the  plain, 
rushed  upon  Laocob'n  and  his  two  sons,  wrapping  in 
snaky  coils  around  their  writhing  bodies,  devouring 
them,  and  then  quickly  returning  to  the  sea.  This 
was  an  omen  for  the  Trojans,  who  saw  that  Laocoon 
had  been  summarily  punished  for  his  blasphemous 
objection  to  taking  the  horse  into  the  city.  Wreath- 
ing it  with  garlands,  they  dragged  the  horse  labori- 
ously through  the  gate,  and  then,  with  the  trophy 
in  possession,  forgot  all  their  past  danger,  in  the  uni- 
versal rejoicing  that  the  long  siege  had  ended. 

Sleep  ultimately  fell  upon  the  city,  helped  by  the 
arts  of  Juno  and  Athena,  and  in  the  darkness  of  mid- 
night, Sinon,  who  had  been  invited  in  by  them,  went 
stealthily  to  the  wooden  horse  and  opened  the  secret 
door.  Ulysses,  Menelaus,  and  the  others  came  out, 
and  the  signal  was  given  to  the  Grecian  ships  which, 
under  cover  of  the  night,  had  come  back  from  their 
hiding  place  behind  Tenedos,  and,  in  the  darkness, 
landed  again  their  cohorts  upon  the  plain  before 
Troy.  Not  a  Trojan  was  on  guard.  The  men  from 
the  wooden  horse  opened  the  gates,  letting  their  com- 
rades in,  and  a  general  massacre  ensued,  in  which 
Priam  and  many  of  his  warriors  fell  by  the  sword. 


THE  LEVANT  163 

Thus,  in  1184  B.  C.,  Troy  was  captured,  the  city 
burned  and  utterly  destroyed,  and  the  kingdom  ruth- 
lessly plundered.  Homeward  sailed  the  victorious 
Greeks,  taking  their  spoils,  and  as  royal  captives  the 
unfortunate  Cassandra  and  Andromache.  Helen, 
who  had  been  the  cause  of  it  all,  was  awakened  from 
the  enchantment  of  Venus,  and  she  also  went  along, 
eager  to  be  forgiven  by  her  wronged  husband,  Mene- 
laus.  Of  the  Trojan  heroes,  ^Eneas  and  Antener 
alone  escaped,  and  the  Roman  tradition  is  that 
^Eneas  ultimately  went  to  Italy  and  became  the  an- 
cestor of  their  kings. 

THE   LEVANT. 

We  have  come,  in  this  coastal  district  of  Asia 
Minor,  to  the  region  of  heterogeneous  population, 
made  up  of  various  Mediterranean  and  oriental 
races,  to  which,  in  the  middle  ages,  was  given  the 
name  of  the  "  Levant."  Its  people  are  known  as  the 
Levantines,  who  speak  in  their  intercourse  with  Eu- 
ropeans and  other  strangers  the  special  dialect 
known  as  the  lingua  Levanta.  This  term,  which 
means  "  east,"  was  first  used  to  designate  them  by 
the  Venetians  and  the  Genoese.  The  Asia  Minor 
coast  is  picturesque,  having  various  deeply  indented 
bays,  making  good  harbors,  off  which  lie  some  of  the 
noted  islands  of  the  Grecian  Archipelago,  and  it  has 
several  well-known  ports,  while  there  are  displayed 
throughout  the  ruins  of  various  cities  of  ancient  re- 


164  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

nown.  In  Mysia,  south  of  the  Troad,  is  the  expan- 
sive Gulf  of  Adramyti,  running  far  up  into  the 
land,  and  having  in  the  offing  the  island  of  Mytilene. 
The  region  around  this  gulf  became  the  Roman  king- 
dom of  Pergamos,  and  a  little  way  inland  is  Bergame, 
a  town  in  the  beautiful  valley  of  the  Caieus,  flowing 
out  to  the  JEgean,  where  the  people  now  make  good 
morocco  leather.  At  this  place  recent  excavations 
have  disclosed  extensive  ruins  of  the  ancient  city  of 
Pergamos,  which  was  one  of  the  most  splendid  in 
Asia  Minor  during  the  early  Grecian  rule,  and  re- 
nowned for  its  library  and  school  of  literature.  The 
special  demands  of  this  library  for  manuscript  mate- 
rials led  to  the  invention  of  parchment,  which  was 
named  from  the  city.  In  the  Roman  domination 
Pergamos  was  deprived  of  its  literary  treasures  by 
Antony,  who  removed,  them  to  the  library  at  Alex- 
andria. Pergamos  also  was  among  the  chief  seats  of 
early  Christianity,  and  here  came  St.  Paul,  and 
founded  one  of  the  "  seven  churches  which  are  in 
Asia."  The  old  city  was  destroyed  during  the  Turk- 
ish wars. 

The  ancient  kingdom  of  Lydia  was  south  of  Mysia, 
and  through  it  ran  the  river  Hermus,  in  a  valley  of 
great  fertility,  flowing  out  to  the  JEgean,  through 
what  is  now  the  Gulf  of  Smyrna.  On  the  southern 
side  of  the  Hermus  is  Mount  Tmolus,  the  modern 
Boz  Dagh,  and  the  Pactolus  tributary  came  from  the 
southwest,  along  the  flanks  of  Tmolus,  bringing  down 


THE  LEVANT  165 

gold  from  the  rich  veins  of  the  mountain.  The  an- 
cient capital  of  Lydia  was  Sardis,  the  city  spreading 
over  the  plain,  between  the  mountain  and  the  two 
rivers,  near  their  junction,  about  forty-five  miles  east 
of  the  Gulf  of  Smyrna.  Here  lived  Croesus,  the  fa- 
mous king  of  Lydia,  who  was  the  richest  man  in  the 
world  in  his  day,  as  his  capital  of  Sardis  was  one  of 
the  richest  cities  then  existing.  His  reign  was  dur- 
ing the  sixth  century  B.  C.,  and  he  subjugated  most 
of  Asia  Minor.  The  Lydians  were  among  the  earli- 
est commercial  peoples  of  the  Mediterranean,  and 
their  highly  scented  ointments,  elegant  carpets  and 
other  fabrics  were  celebrated,  the  Greeks  describing 
them  as  the  inventors  of  the  processes  for  stamping 
coins  and  dyeing  wool.  The  Homeric  poems  speak 
of  the  Lydians  as  men  on  horseback,  clad  in  armor, 
and  described  their  extensive  commerce  and  wealth. 
Lydia  was  rich  in  the  precious  metals,  and  Croesus 
had  gold  mines  in  many  places.  This  king  inherited 
enormous  treasures  and  was  a  mighty  monarch,  at 
the  summit  of  his  career  ruling  over  twelve  nations, 
his  vast  wealth,  which  was  of  such  world-wide  renown, 
being  increased  by  the  tribute  of  conquered  races, 
the  confiscation  of  great  estates,  and  the  prolific  yield 
of  the  golden  sands  of  the  Pactolus.  An  idea  of  its 
extent  may  be  got  from  the  votive  offerings  he  de- 
posited in  the  temples.  Herodotus  wrote  that  he  saw 
the  ingots  of  solid  gold,  six  palms  long,  three  broad 
and  one  deep,  which,  to  the  number  of  one  hundred 


166  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  seventeen,  Croesus  sent  to  Delphi.  He  also  be- 
held, in  other  parts  of  Greece,  rich  offerings,  all  in 
gold,  in  various  temples,  among  them  the  figure  of  a 
lion,  the  emblem  of  Lydia,  of  the  natural  size ;  a  wine 
bowl  of  about  the  same  weight  as  the  lion ;  a  lustral 
vase;  and  the  statue  of  a  woman,  three  cubits  high, 
said  to  have  been  the  king's  baker.  Despite  his 
wealth  and  prosperity,  however,  Crossus  got  into  con- 
flict with  Cyrus  of  Persia,  who  defeated  and  pursued 
him  back  into  Sardis,  taking  the  city,  making  him  a 
prisoner,  and  condemning  him  to  be  burnt  alive. 
His  life  was  ultimately  spared,  and  his  territory  then 
went  under  Persian  rule. 

The  olden  chroniclers  say  that  Sardis  was  named 
after  the  god  of  the  sea,  which  was  worshipped  there. 
Few  remains  now  exist  of  the  magnificent  palace  of 
Croesus  or  other  buildings  of  this  once  opulent  city. 
At  the  side  of  a  steep  hill,  on  which  some  ruins  of 
the  walls  of  the  Acropolis  still  stand,  are  traces  of  a 
theatre  and  other  structures.  In  the  valley  are  rem- 
nants of  a  gymnasium,  and  two  enormous  columns 
stand  on  the  Acropolis,  with  others  lying  on  the 
ground,  supposed  to  have  been  parts  of  a  temple  of 
Cybele,  which  Herodotus  records  as  having  been 
burnt  by  revolted  lonians,  when  they  took  the  city, 
about  500  B.  C.  Across  the  valley  is  the  necropolis 
of  the  Lydian  kings,  prominent  among  the  tombs,  and 
the  largest  of  all,  being  that  of  Alyattes,  a  circular 
mausoleum  about  1,140  feet  in  diameter.  This,  like 


THE  LEVANT  167 

most  of  the  other  tombs,  which  have  been  lately  ex- 
cavated, had  been  rifled  centuries  ago.  There  are 
now,  amid  the  remnants  of  Sardis,  a  few  mud  huts, 
making  the  Turkish  village  of  Sart.  An  earthquake, 
in  the  reign  of  Tiberius,  reduced  Sardis  to  a  heap  of 
ruins.  Roman  benefactions  aided  its  rebuilding, 
and  after  the  Christian  era  another  of  the  "  seven 
churches  which  are  in  Asia  "  was  founded  here,  and 
both  St.  Paul  and  St.  John  visited  the  city  in  their 
ministry.  In  1402  Sardis  was  finally  destroyed  by 
Tamerlane.  To  the  northwest,  on  the  road  to  Per- 
gamos,  was  ancient  Thyatira,  the  location  of  another 
of  the  "  seven  churches  which  are  in  Asia." 

About  thirty  miles  southeast  of  Sardis,  on  the 
Pactolus,  and  at  the  base  of  Mount  Tmolus,  is  the 
Arab  town  of  Ala-Shehr,  situate  on  the  caravan  route 
leading  from  Smyrna  to  the  interior  of  Asia  Minor, 
and  having  a  thriving  trade  that  has  attracted  a  large 
population.  This  place  is  surrounded  by  a  wall,  and 
contains  many  ruins,  including  numerous  churches. 
It  is  the  site  of  the  ancient  Philadelphia,  where  was 
another  of  the  "  seven  churches  which  are  in  Asia." 
Philadelphia  was  named  for  King  Attalus  Philadel- 
phus  of  Pergamos,  who  founded  it  on  the  lower 
mountain  slopes,  most  of  it  being  built  at  consider- 
able elevation.  This  was  a  volcanic  region  and  sub- 
ject to  earthquakes,  but  the  city,  which  was  the  depot 
of  an  extensive  wine  district,  flourished  despite  the 
earthquakes.  Most  of  the  outer  wall  is  standing, 


168  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  on  the  brow  of  the  hill,  toward  the  southwest, 
about  four  hundred  feet  above  the  town,  were  the 
stadium,  theatre,  and,  crowning  all,  the  Acropolis. 
Its  many  temples,  in  the  ancient  time,  gave  Philadel- 
phia the  name  of  the  "  Little  Athens,"  but  only  the 
ruins  of  a  single  small  temple  are  now  visible.  Nu- 
merous coins,  marble  fragments  and  blocks  have  been 
discovered  in  excavating.  Its  original  inhabitants 
were  chiefly  Greeks  from  Macedonia,  and  in  the  time 
of  Pliny  they  still  retained  their  national  character. 
Following  down  the  Hermus,  from  Sardis  toward 
the  sea,  on  the  southern  bank,  about  twenty  miles  from 
its  mouth,  and  built  on  the  slope  of  Mount  Sipylus, 
is  Manissa,  a  Turkish,  city  of  large  population  and 
considerable  trade.  A  railroad  leads  from  Smyrna 
up  the  Hermus  valley  and  then  goes  on  to  Ala-Shehr. 
The  country  around  Manissa  grows  much  cotton, 
which  is  the  leading  export.  This  city  is  built  on  the 
site  of  the  ancient  Lydian  city  of  Magnesia,  and  was 
noted  as  the  place  of  the  great  battle,  fought  in  190 
B.  C.,  in  which  the  Romans  defeated  Antiochus  the 
Great  of  Syria,  and  became  the  masters  of  Lydia. 
The  Hermus  debouches  in  the  Gulf  of  Smyrna,  flow- 
ing out  through  a  broad  plain,  bordered  by  the  mass- 
ive  Mount  Pagos,  the  head  of  this  gulf  making  the 
most  admirable  harbor  on  the  Levantine  coast.  On 
the  top  of  the  mountain  can  be  seen  the  castle,  with 
the  ruins  of  the  Acropolis,  which  was  built  by 
Lysimachus,  one  of  the  generals  of  Alexander  the 


THE  LEVANT  169 

Great.  That  hero  himself  is  said  to  have  ascended  to 
the  mountain  top,  when  on  his  way  from  Sardis  to 
Ephesus,  and  gazed  at  the  grand  view  over  the  plain 
and  sea,  and  the  ruins  of  Smyrna,  which  then  spread 
at  his  feet. 

The  Turkish  city  of  Ismir  (Smyrna)  expands 
broadly  over  the  plain  and  the  hillsides,  the  capital 
of  the  province  of  Aidin,  having  a  population  ap- 
proximating two  hundred  thousand,  half  of  them 
Greeks  and  about  one-fourth  Turks.  The  large  pre- 
ponderance of  Christians  causes  the  Turks  to  call  it 
the  Giaour  city,  or  the  "  city  of  the  unbelievers,"  and, 
in  fact,  it  was  one  of  the  first  places  where  the  Chris- 
tian faith  was  established.  Both  St.  Paul  and  St. 
John  preached  here,  and  it  was  among  the  "  seven 
churches  which  are  in  Asia,"  Polycarp,  who  was  a 
disciple  of  St.  John,  having  been  consecrated  by  that 
divine  as  its  bishop.  During  the  Roman  persecu- 
tion of  the  Christians,  in  the  year  168,  Polycarp,  then 
86  years  old,  was  burnt  at  the  stake  in  Smyrna. 
There  are  now  many  churches  and  mosques  in  the 
city,  and  it  has  three  archbishops,  Greek,  Armenian 
and  Catholic,  with  also  American  and  foreign  mis- 
sionary establishments.  The  harbor  is  magnificent 
and  always  filled  with  shipping,  as  it  is  a  great  com- 
mercial emporium  and  port  of  call  for  Mediterra- 
nean steamship  lines,  with  railroads  extended  in  va- 
rious directions  into  the  interior  of  the  country,  and 
it  is  also  the  termination  of  numerous  caravan  routes. 


170  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  latter,  however,  are  less  used  than  formerly,  be- 
ing largely  superseded  by  the  modern  railroads, 
though  an  interesting  locality  is  the  so-called  "  cara- 
van bridge,"  with  adjoining  grounds,  for  the  accom- 
modation of  the  camels  at  night.  The  Christian, 
settlements  are  generally  near  the  shore,  with  the  Ar- 
menians on  the  lower  and  the  Turks  on  the  upper 
hill  slopes.  A  medieval  castle  surmounts  Mount 
Pagos,  and  one  of  the  chief  buildings  of  the  city  is 
the  palace  of  the  Turkish  governor-general.  The 
[wealthier  merchants  have  built  many  villas  in  the 
suburbs  and  outlying  villages.  Smyrna  receives 
large  amounts  of  manufactured  goods  and  petroleum 
going  to  the  interior,  and  it  exports  cotton,  figs,  rai- 
sins, opium,  sponges,  and  other  products.  The  zEoli- 
ans  were  the  original  colonists  at  this  harbor,  and 
in  the  seventh  century  B.  C.  Smyrna  became  one 
of  the  cities  of  the  Ionic  League.  It  was  overrun 
and  destroyed  by  the  Lydian  Sadyattes,  627  B.  C., 
and  for  a  long  time  afterward  was  in  ruins.  After 
the  death  of  Alexander  the  Great,  his  successors, 
Lysimachus  and  Antigonus,  rebuilt  and  enlarged  the 
city,  and  Smyrna  became  one  of  the  greatest  places 
of  that  time,  the  prosperity  continuing  until  after 
the  Christian  era.  An  earthquake  destroyed  it,  178 
A.  D.,  but  Marcus  Aurelius  again  rebuilt  it.  There 
were  varying  fortunes  subsequently,  and  hither  came 
Richard  Coeur  de  Lion  of  England  and  landed  part 
of  his  army  in  the  third  crusade,  1191.  The 


THE  RUINS  OF  EPHESUS 

Genoese  captured  and  held  it  for  a  long  time,  and  it 
was  taken  by  the  Turks  in  the  later  fourteenth  cen- 
tury. Then  Tamerlane  got  it,  but  the  Turks  recov- 
ered possession,  and  have  since  held  it.  During  the 
first  half  of  the  nineteenth  century  Smyrna  was  re- 
peatedly damaged  by  fire  and  earthquake,  while  in 
January,  1909,  the  city  and  surrounding  country 
were  again  shaken,  though  without  serious  damage. 
Several  lives  were  lost  in  neighboring  towns. 

THE   EUINS    OF    EPHESUS. 

To  the  southward  of  Smyrna,  across  the  peninsula 
which  is  thrust  far  out  into  the  ^Egean  Sea,  is  the 
valley  of  the.  river  Cayster.  This  stream  has,  near 
its  mouth,  the  Turkish  port  of  Skala  Nova,  upon  a 
wide  bay,  and  here  was  the  harbor  of  ancient  Ephe- 
sus.  A  railway  is  constructed  southeastward  from 
Smyrna  to  Aidin,  and  thence  into  the  interior,  and 
upon  the  route,  about  forty-seven  miles  from 
Smyrna,  are  the  ruins  of  the  famous  city,  which  had 
the  renowned  Temple  of  Diana,  and  also  was  another 
of  the  "  seven  churches  which  are  in  Asia."  St. 
John  lived  at  Ephesus,  wrote  here  some  of  his  sacred 
epistles,  and  from  here  he  was  sent  to  Home  before 
the  banishment  to  Patmos.  St.  Paul  lived  three 
years  in  Ephesus,  preaching  and  performing  cures 
and  other  miracles.  He  reasoned  with  the  Jews  in 
the  synagogue,  and  finally  went  away,  because  his 
disciples  thought  it  best  to  do  so,  after  the  uproar 


172  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

raised  against  him  by  the  silversmiths,  who  made 
their  living  by  selling  statuesque  models  of  Diana. 
We  are  told,  in  The  Acts,  of  one  of  their  demonstra- 
tions, where  the  multitude  "  with  one  voice  about  the 
space  of  two  hours  cried  out,  Great  is  Diana  of  the 
Ephesians."  The  ruins  of  Ephesus  are  on  the  south- 
ern side  of  the  river,  just  before  it  seeks  the  sea,  and 
not  far  from  the  railroad.  The  Amazons,  in  the 
legend,  are  said  to  have  founded  Ephesus,  and  their 
story  is  connected  with  Diana,  its  tutelary  deity.  It 
became  one  of  the  cities  of  the  Ionian  League,  Croe- 
sus besieged  and  captured  it,  and  then  it  passed  suc- 
cessively under  the  dominion  of  Persia,  Macedon 
and  Rome.  Ephesus  was  a  large  city,  the  centre  of  a 
great  commerce,  and  the  Romans  made  it  the  capital 
of  their  proconsular  province  of  Asia.  It  was  the 
entrepot  of  a  rich  interior  territory,  and  the  people, 
being  mostly  Greeks,  gave  it,  through  their  energy, 
great  prosperity.  Ephesus  claimed  to  be  the  birth- 
place of  Homer,  and  was  the  home  of  Herodotus  and 
other  noted  Greeks.  It  has  been  in  ruins  for  many 
centuries,  and  several  small  Turkish  villages  are  now 
on  the  site,  the  most  important  being  the  railroad  sta- 
tion of  Ayasalook. 

The  original  Ionian  settlers  found  the  worship  of 
Diana  established  here,  and  the  foundation  of  her 
temple  laid  by  their  predecessors,  the  Leleges  and 
Carians;  the  magnificent  temple,  which  was  subse- 
quently built,  was  the  chief  glory  of  ancient  Ephe- 


THE  RUINS  OF  EPHESUS  173 

sus;  and  the  city  did  not  fall  into  decay  until  the 
Goths  finally  destroyed  it.  This  great  temple  was 
repeatedly  enlarged,  rebuilt,  and  seven  times  restored 
in  the  vicissitudes  of  Ephesian  history.  Croesus 
built  the  first  and  greatest  temple,  and  during  the 
night,  in  356  B.  C.,  on  which  Alexander  the  Great 
was  born,  this  splendid  structure  was  burnt  by  one 
Erostratus,  who,  when  arrested  and  put  to  the  tor- 
ture, declared  he  had  no  other  object  in  doing  this 
than  to  immortalize  his  name.  The  Ephesians  there- 
upon passed  a  decree  consigning  his  name  to  ob- 
livion, but  this  was  in  vain,  for  the  historian  Theo- 
pompus  mentioned  it  in  telling  the  story.  The 
temple  was  rebuilt,  and  Alexander  afterward  offered 
to  pay  all  the  expense  if  he  might  be  permitted  to 
place  his  name  upon  it,  but  the  Ephesians  declined, 
and  the  reconstruction  was  paid  for  by  the  people  at 
large,  the  work  extending  over  two  hundred  and 
twenty  years.  It  measured  425  by  220  feet,  being 
four  times  as  large  as  the  Parthenon  at  Athens  and 
the  largest  of  the  Greek  temples;  and  it  had  thirty- 
six  sculptured  columns.  It  was  splendidly  decorated 
with  sculptures  by  Praxiteles,  and  there  was  a  great 
painting  by  Apelles.  The  statue  of  Diana,  in  that 
temple,  was  of  ivory,  and  provided  with  exquisitely 
wrought  golden  ornaments.  The  idea  they  then  had 
of  Diana,  the  Grecian  Artemis,  was  that  she  personi- 
fied the  fructifying  powers  of  nature,  and  she  was 
represented  as  a  goddess  with  many  breasts.  This 


174  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

temple  had  the  right  of  asylum,  which  extended  to 
the  land  around  it,  causing  the  city  to  be  overrun 
with  criminals,  until  Augustus  curtailed  the  limits. 
It  was  numbered  among  the  seven  wonders  of  the 
world,  and  was  the  most  notable  institution  of  Ephe- 
sus  when  St.  Paul  lived  there.  These  seven  wonders 
were,  in  addition  to  Diana's  temple  at  Ephesus,  the 
Mausoleum  at  Halicarnassus,  the  Egyptian  Pyra- 
mids, the  Colossus  of  Rhodes,  the  walls  and  hanging 
gardens  of  Babylon,  the  statue  of  Zeus  in  the  temple 
at  Olympus,  and  the  Pharos  of  Alexandria. 

In  the  time  of  St.  Paul  the  great  commerce  of  the 
port  of  Ephesus  attracted  many  Jews,  and  this  led 
the  apostle  to  make  his  mission  to  Ephesus  and  es- 
tablish the  Christian  church.  St.  John  also  ad- 
dressed to  this  church  one  of  the  messages  in  the 
Apocalypse.  The  city  subsequently  became  the  re- 
sort of  sorcerers  and  magicians,  and  the  "  Ephesian 
letters  "  were  noted  magical  charms  as  late  as  the 
sixth  century.  Several  Christian  Church  Councils 
were  held  here,  among  the  most  celebrated  being  the 
Assembly  of  the  Bishops  of  Asia,  convened  in  196 
A.  D.,  to  fix  the  proper  day  for  the  celebration  of 
Easter.  About  260,  Ephesus  was  sacked  by  the 
Goths,  who  burnt  the  temple,  and  it  was  finally  de- 
stroyed in  the  fourth  century.  Ephesus  diminished 
in  population  during  the  Byzantine  period,  its  port 
silted  up,  and  from  lack  of  drainage  and  cultivation 
the  neighborhood  became  unhealthy.  Then  the 


THE  RUINS  OF  EPHESUS  175 

Turks  attacked  it,  and  for  a  long  time  it  was  alter- 
nately in  their  hands  or  controlled  by  their  foes  until 
the  fourteenth  century,  when  it  fell  finally  under 
Turkish  power.  The  ancient  city,  by  that  time,  had 
almost  disappeared,  the  site  of  the  temple  being  lost, 
and  much  of  the  materials  of  the  place  having  been 
carried  off  for  buildings  elsewhere,  while  the  allu- 
vial soil  had  gradually  covered  the  locality. 

The  ruins  of  Ephesus  were  partially  excavated  in 
the  nineteenth  century,  the  site  of  the  temple  found, 
and  a  great  amphitheatre  uncovered,  which  was  large 
enough  to  accommodate  fifty  thousand  people. 
There  were  numerous  fragments  of  sculpture,  and  in- 
scriptions of  the  temple  and  other  structures  col- 
lected, which  are  preserved  in  the  British  Museum. 
This  work  ceased  in  1874,  and  was  not  renewed  un- 
til 1904.  The  later  excavations,  going  much  deeper, 
disclosed  the  earlier  foundations  of  two  more  temples, 
below  that  which  had  been  previously  uncovered, 
the  lowest  of  these  resting  on  the  virgin  soil  of  the 
original  marsh.  This  lower  temple  was  Ionian, 
and  believed  to  date  about  700  B.  C.  The  greater 
part  of  the  materials  of  the  temple  which  followed 
the  one  burnt  by  Erostratus  had  disappeared  into 
the  walls  of  the  Turkish  villages  or  into  the  lime- 
kilns in  which  the  vicinity  abounds.  Much  was 
found  of  the  precedent  temple,  built  by  Croasus,  and 
this  developed  that  its  architecture  and  workman- 
ship were  superior  to  that  of  its  successor,  which 


176  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Philo  had  so  admired  that  he  called  it  the  "  only 
house  of  the  gods  on  earth."  Beneath  this  were  dis- 
covered the  foundations  and  ground  plan  of  a  smaller 
temple,  of  yellow  limestone,  paved  with  highly  pol- 
ished, veined  marble.  In  its  centre,  as  likewise  in 
its  successors,  stood  the  rectangular  base  that  is  sup- 
posed to  have  supported  the  image  of  the  goddess. 
This  had  been  enlarged  and  remodelled  by  subse- 
quent builders,  but  had  never  changed  its  location, 
and  was  the  holy  place  around  which  one  temple  after 
another  was  built.  The  materials  were  greenish 
stone,  and  the  lowest  courses  were  apparently  parts  of 
an  earlier  temple,  the  fourth  and  lowest  in  the  layers, 
there  being  hundreds  of  small  votive  objects  found 
in  the  very  foundations.  Over  two  thousand  of  these 
objects  were  recovered,  including  jewels,  coins, 
scarabs  and  other  pieces,  many  being  of  dates  ante- 
rior to  the  time  of  Crossus.  They  are  in  the  precious 
metals,  bronze,  ivory,  glass,  terra-cotta,  amber, 
porcelain,  rock-crystal,  wood  and  iron.  The  ivories 
are  the  best,  some  being  of  exquisite  workmanship, 
statuettes  of  the  goddess,  figures  of  animals,  plaques 
and  trinkets.  These  treasures  have  gone  to  the  Brit- 
ish Museum  and  the  museum  at  Constantinople,  and 
the  archaeologists  say  they  are  of  the  earliest  Hellenic 
workmanship,  representing  an  art  in  which  the  god- 
dess, to  whom  they  were  dedicated,  was  not  given  the 
semblance  of  the  many-breasted  statue  of  the  later 
period. 


THE  RUINS  OF  EPHESUS  177 

Much  of  the  work  of  excavation  at  Ephesus,  since 
1894,  has  been  under  Austrian  auspices,  directed 
by  the  late  Professor  Otto  Benndorf,  who  died  in 
January,  1907,  and  was  known  as  the  "  Schliemann 
of  Ephesus."  In  addition  to  excavating  the  temple 
were  uncovered  many  other  ancient  monuments,  the 
theatre,  library,  two  marketplaces,  the  chief  streets, 
and  the  Baths  of  Constantine.  The  interesting 
double  Church  of  St.  Mary,  Mother  of  God,  has  also 
been  cleared  out,  where  was  held  the  famous  Church 
Council  of  431  A.  D.,  which  condemned  ISTestorius, 
and  placed  the  Virgin  in  the  position  ever  since  held 
by  the  Roman  Catholic  and  Greek  Churches.  There 
also  has  been  disclosed  a  splendid  semicircular  mar- 
ble portico  around  the  east  side  of  the  ancient  harbor. 
To  the  southeast  of  the  site  of  the  ancient  city  is  the 
"  Grotto  of  the  Seven  Sleepers,"  who  are  said  to  have 
fled  there  for  refuge  from  the  persecutions  of  Dio- 
cletian, and,  falling  asleep,  awakened  two  hundred 
years  later,  and  came  back  into  the  city,  to  the  won- 
derment of  the  public.  This  tradition  was  revived 
by  Mohammed  and  embodied  in  the  Koran,  and  the 
cave  was  long  a  place  of  pilgrimage  for  both  Moslems 
and  Christians.  The  names  of  the  seven  sleepers, 
and  also  of  the  dog,  Ketmeh,  who  slept  with  them, 
were  reverenced  throughout  the  Orient  as  of  talis- 
manic  power.  In  a  locality  not  far  away  the  tradi- 
tion also  places  the  grave  of  St.  John. 

VOL.  11—12 


178  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

THE    MEANDER    TO    TAESUS. 

Some  distance  south  of  Ephesus  there  flows  out  of 
the  plain  of  Caria  one  of  the  most  famous  rivers  of 
the  ancient  Hellenic  world,  the  Mseander,  now 
called  the  Meinder.  It  rises  in  the  interior  of  Asia 
Minor,  in  Phrygia,  receives  its  chief  tributaries, 
known  anciently  as  the  Harpasus  and  Morsyas,  and 
takes  a  generally  southwestern  course  through  Caria 
to  the  Latmic  Bay.  The  fertile  region  that  it  waters 
has  superabundant  soil,  which  causes  it  to  bring  down 
immense  quantities  of  mud,  gradually  filling  up  the 
head  of  the  bay,  and  thus  have  been  joined  several 
islands,  originally  in  its  delta,  to  the  mainland.  The 
character  of  this  level  fertile  plain  has  also  given 
the  river  a  winding  and  wayward  course,  making  it 
about  three  hundred  miles  long,  though  accomplish- 
ing a  much  smaller  actual  distance  from  its  source 
to  the  sea,  so  that  its  name  has  become  a  synonym 
for  tortuousness  and  aimless  wandering.  It  is  deep 
in  parts,  but  full  of  shallows  and  bars,  being  there- 
fore only  navigable  for  small  craft.  In  its  upper 
valley,  in  the  southwest  corner  of  Phrygia,  is  the 
Turkish  town  of  Eski-Hissar,  built  on  the  site  of 
Laodicea,  another  of  the  "  seven  churches  which  are 
in  Asia,"  an  opulent  and  flourishing  city  at  the  time 
of.  the  Christian  era,  its  luxury  then  being  attested 
by  the  stern  rebuke  administered  to  its  people  in  the 
Apocalypse.  Paul  also  addressed  an  epistle  to  the 


THE  MEANDER  TO  TARSUS  179 

Christians  of  that  city.  It  was  named  after  Laodice, 
the  queen  of  Antiochus  Theos,  the  founder.  It  grew 
in  importance,  despite  frequent  damage  by  earth- 
quakes, was  controlled  by  the  Greeks,  then  by  Syria, 
and  afterward  by  Pergamos,  being  finally  destroyed 
in  1402  by  Tamerlane.  Nearby  is  Khonos,  stand- 
ing on  the  site  of  Colossse,  which  Xenophon  described 
as  a  large  and  important  city  at  the  close  of  the  fifth 
century  B.  C.  It  was  captured  by  the  Persians,  and 
Xerxes  with  his  army  passed  through  it  on  his  way 
to  Greece,  481  B.  C.  The  people  were  noted  for 
their  product  of  beautifully  dyed  wool,  sent  to  all 
parts  of  the  then  known  world.  After  the  reign  of 
Cyrus  it  fell  into  decay.  To  its  church  St.  Paul  ad- 
dressed his  epistle.  Farther  down  the  Masander  the 
railroad  comes  over  from  Smyrna  and  Ephesus,  and 
then  follows  up  the  river  valley.  Here  is  Aidin, 
fifty-seven  miles  southeast  from  Smyrna,  called  by 
the  Turks  Guzel  Hissar,  the  "  beautiful  castle," 
which  is  the  modern  trading  town  of  the  river,  and 
has  a  population  of  fifty  thousand,  mostly  Turks.  It 
is  in  a  picturesque  situation,  having  the  plateau  of 
the  Messogis  for  a  lovely  background,  where  stood  the 
ancient  city  of  Tralles,  the  ruins  having  provided 
much  of  the  building  materials  for  Aidin.  There 
are  numerous  mosques  and  attractive  bazaars,  with 
interesting  ruins  all  about,  and  the  people  have  an 
active  trade  in  cotton,  figs  and  other  products  of  this 
fertile  district. 


180  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  ancient  port  and  fortress  of  the  Mseander,  con- 
trolling its  entrance,  was  Miletus,  that  had  four  har- 
bors protected  by  the  outlying  group  of  islands,  most 
of  which  the  river  silt  has  since  joined  to  the  main- 
land. The  Mycale  headland  projects,  and  here  at  a 
promontory,  formed  by  the  Grinm  range,  was  this  fa- 
mous city  of  the  Ionian  Confederacy,  but  it  is  difficult 
now  to  locate  the  precise  boundaries  of  the  site,  owing 
to  the  radical  changes  the  Mseander's  generous  out- 
flow of  mud  has  made  in  the  bay.  Miletus  controlled 
an  extensive  territory  around  the  bay,  and  its  earli- 
est people  were  Carians,  Leleges  and  Cretans,  the 
name  being  derived  from  Miletus,  a  Cretan  warrior, 
the  city  also  having  at  different  times  been  called 
Pityusa  and  Anactoria.  The  lonians  subsequently 
settled  here,  and  made  it  a  great  industrial  and  com- 
mercial mart,  which  in  the  earlier  Grecian  history 
became  a  prominent  maritime  power,  extending  its 
colonies  and  commerce  through  the  Mediterranean, 
the  Propontis  (Marmora)  and  the  Euxine  (Black 
Sea).  It  colonized  the  Crimea,  and  also  the  Egyp- 
tian delta,  and  was  the  birthplace  of  the  philosophers 
Thales  and  Anaximander  and  the  historians  Cadmus 
and  Hecatseus.  Croesus  conquered  it,  and  after  his 
fall  the  power  went  to  the  Persians,  but  it  revolted, 
and  they  destroyed  it,  494  B.  C.,  this  revolt  leading 
to  the  first  Persian  invasion  of  Greece.  Reviving, 
it  opposed  Alexander,  but  he  captured  it,  and,  384 
B.  C.,  made  a  new  ruin  of  the  place.  Then  the 


THE  MEANDER  TO  TARSUS  181 

sovereignty  was  held  by  Syria  and  Rome,  and 
finally  Miletus  dwindled  into  insignificance,  under 
Byzantine  rule,  helped  by  the  silting  up  of  the  har- 
bor, and  it  was  ultimately  destroyed  by  the  Turks. 
The  ruins  have  been  partly  excavated,  disclosing  the 
foundations  and  remains  of  temples,  an  aqueduct 
and  other  structures.  Various  sculptures  and 
columns  of  the  Temple  of  Apollo  have  been  recovered 
and  sent  to  national  museums  in  Europe. 

Penetrating  deeply  into  the  coast  of  Caria,  south- 
ward from  Miletus,  and  having  the  island  of  Cos 
off  the  entrance,  is  the  attractive  Ceramic  Gulf,  and 
on  its  northern  shore  is  the  little  Turkish  town  of 
Boudroum.  The  place  is  surrounded  by  ruins,  and 
from  these  it  gets  fame,  for  this  was  ancient 
Halicarnassus,  a  leading  city  of  the  Doric  hexapolis. 
But  it  quarrelled  with  the  others,  was  excluded  from 
the  Confederacy,  and  was  then  conquered  by  Darius. 
Artemesia  became  queen,  and  she  gave  it  a  new 
fame.  Her  husband  was  Mausolus,  who  died  352 
B.  C.,  and  she  built  over  his  remains  a  monument 
so  beautiful  that  it  still  gives  the  name  of  mauso- 
leum to  these  memorial  structures.  Alexander  con- 
quered and  burnt  the  city,  and  later  it  fell  to  the 
Romans,  who  revived  it,  but  upon  the  downfall  of 
the  empire  it  was  again  destroyed.  The  Knights 
of  St.  John  of  Jerusalem,  when  they  occupied 
Rhodes  in  the  early  fifteenth  century,  built  here  a 
castle,  called  the  "  town  of  St.  Peter,"  and  the 


182  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Turks  captured  it  when  they  took  Rhodes  from  the 
Knights,  in  the  sixteenth  century.  In  its  halcyon 
days  Halicarnassus  was  a  great  city.  Herodotus 
and  Dionysius,  the  historians,  were  born  here. 
From  the  edge  of  the  harbor  the  rows  of  buildings 
were  constructed  on  the  hill  slopes,  rising  on  ter- 
races formed  partly  by  excavating  the  rocks  and 
partly  by  building  walls.  The  Mausoleum  crowned 
the  first  terrace,  and  the  Temple  of  Mars  the 
second.  The  entire  city  was  enclosed  by  a  wall, 
which  still  can  be  traced,  and  at  the  upper  portion 
two  citadels  occupied  the  summits  of  volcanic  hills. 
Temples  of  Venus  and  Mercury  were  located  at  the 
two  extremities  of  the  harbor,  and  the  king  had  a 
spacious  palace,  while  there  were  other  important 
structures,  with  additional  temples,  dedicated  to 
various  deities.  But  the  most  celebrated  of  all  was 
the  Mausoleum,  richly  decorated  with  sculptures, 
and  numbered  among  the  seven  wonders  of  the 
ancient  world.  It  was  still  standing  in  the  twelfth 
century,  but  was  then  overthrown  by  an  earthquake, 
and  the  detritus  washed  down  from  the  hills, 
gradually  filled  the  lower  parts  of  the  city  to  the 
depth  of  probably  twenty  feet,  and  completely  cov- 
ered the  site.  It  remained  hidden  until  1839,  when 
it  was  newly  discovered,  and  elaborate  excavations, 
subsequently  made,  in  1857,  uncovered  the  Mauso- 
leum foundations,  and  many  fragments  of  sculptures 
and  statues  were  obtained  and  sent  to  the  British 


THE  MEANDER  TO  TARSUS  183 

Museum,  among  these  being  the  statue  of  Mauso- 
lus  himself,  reconstructed  out  of  sixty-three  broken 
fragments,  and  made  nearly  complete.  The  Mauso- 
leum is  believed  to  have  been  a  rectangular 
structure,  erected  on  a  base  of  about  472  feet  cir- 
cumference, the  building  surrounded  by  thirty-six 
Ionic  columns,  and  surmounted  by  a  pyramid,  rising 
in  twenty-four  steps,  to  a  colossal  marble  cupola, 
which  supported  the  statue  of  Mausolus. 

The  southern  border  of  the  Ceramic  Gulf  is  the 
long  peninsula  of  Triopium,  and  at  its  extremity 
the  Dorians  built  their  city  of  Cnidus,  partly  on  the 
mainland  and  partly  on  an  island,  connected  by  a 
causeway,  so  that  it  formed  two  harbors.  Here  was 
the  Temple  of  Venus,  which  contained  the  cele- 
brated statue  of  the  goddess,  by  Praxiteles,  that  at- 
tracted visitors  from  all  parts  of  the  Hellenic  world. 
There  were  also  temples  of  Apollo  and  Xeptune.  It 
was  off  Cnidus,  394  B.  C.,  that  the  Athenians  de- 
feated the-  combined  Persian  and  Spartan  fleets. 
Eudoxus,  Ctesias  and  Sostratus  were  citizens.  It 
enjoyed  an  extensive  commerce,  but  ultimately  de- 
clined in  importance,  and  gradually  fell  in  ruin,  its 
interesting  remains  having  recently  been  extensively 
excavated  and  explored. 

The  southern  coast  of  Lycia  stretches  out  in  the 
bold  Sacrum  Point,  beyond  which  is  the  broad  and 
deeply  recessed  bay  of  Adalia,  that  was  the  ancient 
Pamphylicus  Sinus.  Within  it,  and  upon  a  good 


184  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

harbor,  is  Adalia,  the  largest  town  and  seaport  of 
the  Asia  Minor  southern  coast,  built  in  the  form  of 
an  amphitheatre,  upon  the  hill  slopes  around  the 
harbor.  A  double  wall  surrounds  the  city,  having 
square  towers  at  short  intervals.  This  place  en- 
joys a  good  trade  in  wool,  cotton,  opium  and  other 
articles,  and  is  the  port  for  the  region  of  Pamphylia 
and  Pisidia,  in  the  interior,  to  the  northward. 
Pamphylia  is  a  long  and  narrow  crescent-shaped  dis- 
trict, stretching  in  a  strip  of  about  ninety  miles,  like 
an  arch,  around  the  Adalian  Gulf.  Its  name  came 
from  the  number  of  different  tribes  composing  the 
population,  and  means  "  the  people  of  all  races." 
Its  first  Greek  colonizer  was  Mopsus,  and  conse- 
quently it  was  anciently  known  as  Mopsopia.  Its 
entire  background  is  the  massive  range  of  Mount 
Taurus,  which,  at  the  western  end,  divides  into  a 
complex  system  of  rugged  hills  that  stretch  down  to 
the  coast.  This  favors  the  peculiar  formation  of 
much  of  the  surface,  making  a  mass  of  vegetable 
matter,  beneath  which  the  mountain  torrents,  that 
are  dry  for  a  good  part  of  the  year,  find  their  way, 
in  the  rainy  season,  to  the  sea.  The  eastern  portion 
of  Pamphylia  is  generally  flat  and  sandy.  Cyrus 
conquered,  and  then  it  became  part  of  the  kingdom 
of  Pergamos,  ultimately  falling  under  Roman  rule, 
and  following  the  subsequent  fortunes  of  Asia 
Minor.  While  the  southern  outflowing  streams  of 
the  Mount  Taurus  range  seek  the  sea,  those  on  its 


THE  M/EAXDER  TO  TARSUS        185 

northern  flanks  get  no  outlet,  and  form  large  salt 
lakes,  of  which  the  chief  were  called  Trogius  and 
Oarolitis  by  the  ancients.  This  region,  behind  the 
mountains,  is  known  as  Pisidia,  its  people  always 
being  restless  mountaineers  and  never  completely 
controlled.  In  the  time  of  Strabo  they  got  their 
subsistence  largely  by  plundering  their  neighbors, 
and  they  are  still  a  wild  and  predatory  race.  Ad- 
joining is  the  district,  known  as  Isauria,  whence 
came  the  marauding  Isauri,  out  of  its  mountain 
fastnesses,  in  the  ancient  world,  to  plague  the 
Greeks  and  Romans.  They  also  were  formidable 
during  the  Byzantine  era,  and  became  so  powerful 
that  two  of  the  race,  Zeno  in  the  fifth  century  and 
Leo  III  in  the  eighth  century,  were  made 
emperors  at  Constantinople.  The  chief  town  now 
is  an  aggregation  of  Arab  settlements,  Isaura, 
on  the  site  of  the  old  capital  at  the  northern  base 
of  the  Taurus  range.  It  was  a  strong  and  rich  city 
when  the  people  destroyed  it  to  prevent  capture  by 
the  Greeks,  after  the  death  of  Alexander.  In  this 
remote  region,  north  of  the  Taurus,  was  the  early 
seat  of  the  Hittite  civilization.  In  the  winter  of 
1906—7  the  German  investigators  discovered  there, 
at  Boghazoki,  the  site  of  the  ancient  Hittite  strong- 
hold Pteria,  remains  of  a  Hittite  temple  and  sculp- 
tures, with  about  two  thousand  tablets,  believed  to  be 
the  archives  of  the  Hittite  government.  They  in- 
clude records  of  treaties  with  Egypt,  in  the  time  of 


186  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Rameses  I  and  II,  the  latter  making  an  alliance  with 
the  Hittites,  about  1200  B.  C.  This  alliance  is 
recorded  in  Assyrian  characters,  a  similar  tablet  in 
hieroglyphics  having  been  found  at  Karnak  in 
Egypt. 

The  coast  stretches  southeastward  again,  beyond 
the  Adalian  Gulf,  and  two  capes  project  far  into 
the  sea,  Pbsidiun  Point  and  Sarpedon  Point,  while 
on  the  other  side  of  them  is  the  Gulf  of  Issus,  the 
ancient  Issius  Sinus.  Around  the  shores  of  this 
spacious  gulf  is  the  Province  of  Cilicia.  It  is  a 
strip  of  land  extending  fully  three  hundred  miles 
along  the  shore  and  back  inland  fifty  to  seventy 
miles,  the  surface  sloping  from  the  summit  of  the 
Taurus  range  toward  the  sea.  Behind  this  elevated 
ridge  are  Isauria,  Lycaonia  and  Cappadocia,  while 
a  subsidiary  ridge  of  the  Anti-Taurus  Mountains, 
on  the  eastern  boundary,  separates  Cilicia  from 
Syria.  The  rough  and  unregenerate  character  of 
western  Cilicia,  where  the  mountain  foothills  ap- 
proach the  coast,  caused  it  to  be  called  anciently 
Tracheia  meaning  "  rough,"  while  the  eastern  por- 
tion, mostly  a  series  of  fertile  plains,  was  known  as 
Pedias  or  "  level."  Several  rivers  flow  out  to  the 
gulf,  and  these  plains  are  well  watered.  The 
Cydnus  was  the  most  famous  of  these  streams, 
rising  in  the  Taurus  mountains,  and  being  now  called 
the  Tarsus  Tchai.  The  Sarus,  now  the  Sihun, 
comes  through  a  mountain  gorge  from  Cappadocia, 


THE  ALEAXDER  TO  TARSUS        187 

and  the  Pyramus,  now  the  Jihim,  also  breaks 
through  the  mountain  barrier,  and  flows  southwest. 
All  these  streams  bring  down  very  cold  water  from 
the  mountains,  and  it  was  in  the  Cydnus  that  Alex- 
ander the  Great  took  the  bath  that  chilled  and  nearly 
killed  him.  On  this  classic  stream  was  also  the  scene 
of  the  first  interview  between  Antony  and  Cleopatra, 
after  Julius  Caesar's  death.  Cilicia  was  early  set- 
tled by  the  Phoenicians,  its  people  being  distinguished 
for  commercial  and  maritime  enterprise.  It  became 
a  vassal  of  Persia,  and  the  Greeks  colonized  it, 
in  the  time  of  Alexander,  after  whose  death  it  was 
part  of  the  Syrian  .empire.  In  the  first  century 
B.  C.,  pirates  swarmed  from  its  coasts,  attacking 
the  commerce  of  the  Mediterranean,  until  Pompey 
subdued  them,  thus  acquiring  Cilicia  for  the  Romans, 
during  whose  dominion  Cicero  was  at  one  time  the 
proconsul.  The  native  princes  still  held  out  in  the 
mountain  fastnesses  until  Vespasian's  reign.  Au- 
gustus made  it  a  Roman  province,  and  it  went  to 
Byzantium,  and  ultimately  to  the  Turks. 

The  most  noted  Cilician  city  was  Tarsus,  on  the 
Cydnus,  about  ten  miles  inland  from  the  sea.  It  is 
built  generally  of  stone,  upon  a  fertile  plain,  and 
now  has  a  population  of  about  ten  thousand.  Sar- 
danapalus  was  its  founder,  and  it  was  captured  by 
Alexander.  When  under  Syrian  rule  it  became  a 
leading  centre  of  learning  in  the  East,  and  so  greatly 
enlarged  its  fame  and  attractions  that  in  the  Roman 


188  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

days  it  is  said  to  have  rivalled  Athens.  Here  was 
the  birthplace  of  the  Apostle  Paul.  The  leading 
Cilician  city  now  is  Adana,  on  the  river  Sihun, 
about  twenty-five  miles  northeast  of  Tarsus,  having 
a  population  of  thirty  thousand.  It  commands  the 
river  gorge  coming  through  the  Taurus  range,  and 
is  well  built  and  attractive.  There  are  various 
ancient  remains,  including  an  old  time  castle  and 
a  bridge  over  the  river  built  by  Justinian. 
P'ompey  is  said  to  have  first  colonized  Adana  with 
conquered  Cilician  pirates.  At  the  farther  ex- 
tremity of  the  Gulf  of  Issus,  eastward  from  Adana, 
was  the  ancient  town  of  Issus,  its  site  now  being 
obliterated.  Here  was  the  battlefield  where  Alex- 
ander, 333  B.  C.,  fought  and  defeated  Darius. 

The  city  and  province  of  Adana,  in  April,  1909, 
•were  the  scene  of  frightful  massacres  of  the  Ar- 
menians, instigated  from  Constantinople,  before 
the  downfall  of  the  Sultan  Abdul  Hamid,  as  a  part 
of  the  reactionary  movement  to  overcome  the  Young 
Turkish  party.  The  murders  and  pillage  con- 
tinued for  several  days  at  Adana,  Tarsus,  Alex- 
andretta,  Had j in  and  other  places,  and  great  damage 
was  done  by  burning  large  portions  of  the  towns. 
Several  missionaries,  including  two  Americans, 
were  among  the  slain,  and  the  carnage  was  only 
stayed  by  the  direct  intervention  of  the  Great 
Powers.  Various  estimates  of  the  loss  of  life  were 
made,  some  as  high  as  20,000,  the  Turkish  officials 


CYPRUS  189 

reporting  it  as  4,000.  The  outbreaks  caused  serious 
unrest  throughout  northern  Syria  and  eastern  Asia 
Minor,  several  European  warships  being  sent  into  the 
ports  for  protection.  Order  was  not  fully  restored 
until  June. 

CYPRUS. 

Out  in  the  Mediterranean,  off  the  Cilician  coast, 
is  the  most  eastern  island  of  the  great  sea  —  Cyprus 
—  stretching  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  in  length, 
with  a  long,  high  and  narrow  tongue  of  land  protrud- 
ing toward  Syria  and  terminating  in  Cape  St.  An- 
drea, its  extremity  being  about  sixty  miles  from  the 
nearest  Syrian  coast.  The  northern  Cypriote  head- 
land of  Cape  Kormakiti  is  forty-six  miles  south  of 
the  farthest  southern  protruding  Cape  Anamur,  in 
Cilicia.  The  island  is  called  by  the  Turks  Kybris, 
but  they  do  not  number  over  one-fourth  of  the  pres- 
ent population,  which  is  less  than  three  hundred 
thousand,  most  of  the  others  being  Greeks.  In  the 
time  of  its  greatest  prosperity,  under  the  Venetian 
rule,  Cyprus  was  said  to  have  supported  a  million 
people.  It  has  an  elevated  mountain  range  on  the 
northern  side,  stretching  from  east  to  west  throughout 
the  island,  the  chief  summit,  the  Oros  Stavros,  or 
Mount  Troalos,  rising  6,595  feet,  the  ancient  name 
being  Olympus.  There  is  another  mountain  range  on 
the  southern  side,  with  plains  between,  called  the 
Messaria,  that  give  pasture  for  flocks  of  sheep  and 


190  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

goats.  In  the  olden  time  Cyprus  had  extensive 
forests,  but  these  are  nearly  all  gone,  so  that  the 
torrential  streams  of  the  rainy  season,  when  the 
downpour  ends,  quickly  run  dry,  and  the  people 
suffer  severely  from  drought,  having  to  depend  for 
water  mainly  upon  cisterns,  as  nearly  all  the  wells 
are  brackish.  It  is  an  agricultural  and  pastoral 
land,  the  products  being  aromatic  herbs,  dyewoods, 
drugs,  cotton,  carob  beans,  tobacco,  silk,  wine  and 
fruits,  all  of  fine  quality.  There  were  anciently 
mined  precious  metals  and  copper,  but  this  mining 
has  been  neglected.  The  wines  of  Cyprus,  especially 
those  from  the  vineyard  called  Commanderia,  from 
having  belonged  to  the  Knights  of  St.  John  of 
Jerusalem,  gained  great  celebrity  in  early  times, 
producing  two  millions  of  gallons  annually,  but  the 
present  product  is  barely  one-tenth  that  amount. 
Black  and  red  wines  are  exported  to  Egypt,  which 
has  always  had  a  close  commercial  connexion,  but 
these,  being  kept  in  tarred  casks,  taste  strongly  of  the 
tar.  The  surface  of  mountain  and  plain  presents 
long  slopes  on  the  western  and  southern  coasts,  with 
fertility  in  the  narrow  valley  bottoms  and  tracts  of 
stony  pasture  on  the  hill  spurs;  some  carefully  pre- 
served forests,  chiefly  pine  on  the  main  ridge, 
clinging  to  the  mounded  summits,  where  not  too 
high;  the  extensive  undulating  plains  of  the  Mes- 
saria;  green-covered  steeps  and  buttresses  to  the 
east  and  north;  and,  protruding  far  northeastward, 


CYPRUS  191 

the  long  spiky  handle  made  of  the  high  rocky  ridges 
of  the  Karpas  mountain  range,  falling  off  abruptly 
at  the  farther  extremity,  in  stony  and  scarred 
precipices,  washed  by  the  sea.  Larnaka  and  Lim- 
asol,  the  ancient  Amethus,  on  the  southeastern  coast, 
are  the  chief  towns.  Famagusta,  to  the  eastward, 
on  the  site-  of  ancient  Arsinoe,  so  famous  in  the 
Venetian  time  of  greatest  prosperity,  possesses  a 
good  and  well-sheltered  harbor,  long  choked  up,  but 
recently  deepened  to  accommodate  the  larger  ships. 
The  capital  is  Kicosia,  a  small  town  in  the  interior, 
its  Turkish  name  being  Lefkosha. 

Cyprus  is  not  great  to-day,  and  only  occasionally 
gets  into  the  blaze  of  the  world's  limelight,  through 
some  brief  outbreak,  but  its  strategic  position  gives 
it  importance,  and  it  has  always  occupied  a  dis- 
tinguished niche  in  history,  its  name  meaning  the 
"  Place  of  Arms."  It  early  belonged  to  the 
Phoenicians  of  the  neighboring  Syrian  coast,  was 
afterward  colonized  by  the  Greeks,  who  formed  sev- 
eral independent  kingdoms  on  the  island,  and  then 
passed  successively  under  control  of  the  pharaohs, 
Persians,  Ptolemies,  and  Rome,  although  there  was 
a  brief  period  of  independence,  in  the  fourth 
century  T5.  C.  In  the  pagan  era  it  was  one  of  the 
chief  seats  of  the  worship  of  Venus.  The  best 
known  of  the  ancient  cities  were  Citium  (from 
which  came  Kittim,  the  Biblical  name  of  the  island), 
Salamis,  Amathus,  Paphos  and  Soli.  Venus,  or 


192  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Aphrodite,  as  the  Cypriotes  knew  her,  was  said  to 
have  been  born  at  old  Paphos,  rising  from  the  foam 
of  the  sea  waves,  and  she  had  a  great  temple  in  the 
ancient  city.  St.  Paul  preached  at  new  Paphos,  the 
more  modern  city,  to  the  Roman  proconsul  Sergius. 
It  was  in  Cyprus  that  Venus  watched  over  the  long 
enchanted  sleep  of  Adonis,  and  here  lived  Pygmalion. 
Agenor,  the  king  of  Phoenicia  and  Cyprus,  was  the 
son  of  Neptune,  and  the  mythical  legend  was  told 
by  Ovid  that  Agenor's  grandson  Pygmalion,  a 
young  and  romantic  sculptor,  became  so  infatuated 
with  his  art,  which  he  felt  was  above  all  nature,  that 
he  declared  he  would  never  marry  a  mortal  woman. 
He  carved  the  ivory  statue  of  a  maiden  so  attrac- 
tive that  he  fell  in  love  with  it,  and  gradually  came 
to  regard  it  as  the  perfect  ideal  of  his  aspiration. 
As  he  gazed  upon  the  ivory,  he  viewed  it  no  longer 
as  a  statue,  but  as  a  lovely  maiden,  and  he  named 
her  Galatea,  arraying  her  in  jewels  and  adornments, 
and  finally  praying  to  Aphrodite  to  give  him  a  per- 
fect bride,  such  as  his  ivory  maiden.  The  goddess 
was  complacent,  and  as  Pygmalion  touched  the 
statue's  hand  it  yielded  as  if  of  flesh,  and  then  he 
kissed  her,  when  in  an  instant  her  face  became  life- 
like, she  awakened,  smiled,  and  stepped  down  from 
the  pedestal  into  the  arms  of  her  lover.  They  were 
married,  and  their  son  Paphos,  in  gratitude  to 
Aphrodite,  founded  the  city,  which  was  named  for 
him,  on  the  site  of  the  birthplace  of  the  goddess. 


CYPRUS  193 

When  the  Crusaders  got  possession  of  Cyprus  they 
detached  it  from  the  Greek  empire,  and  made  a 
kingdom  of  Cyprus  for  Guy  of  Lusignan.  From 
his  descendants  it  was  inherited  by  the  Venetians, 
and  in  1570,  after  a  brave  defence,  was  captured 
by  the  Turks.  In  the  early  nineteenth  century  the 
Viceroy  of  Egypt  governed  it  under  Turkish 
suzerainty,  and  in  1878  control  was  assumed  by 
England.  The  history  and  antiquities  of  Cyprus 
have  been  much  studied,  and  largely  through  the 
discoveries  made  by  General  de  Cesnola,  when 
American  consul,  whose  valuable  and  extensive  col- 
lections are  now  in  the  New  York  Metropolitan 
Museum.  The  English  control  of  Cyprus  followed 
the  Russo-Turkish  war.  After  the  memorable  siege 
and  battle  of  Plevna,  the  victorious  Russian  troops 
marched  toward  Constantinople,  bent  on  its  capture, 
but  friendship  for  the  Turkish  sultan  led  England 
to  bar  the  way,  and  to  British  influence  was  due  the 
Berlin  conference,  which  prevented  Russia  driving 
the  sultan  out  of  Europe.  In  return  for  this  serv- 
ice he  granted  England  various  concessions  along 
the  Red  Sea  and  the  control  of  Cyprus,  for  an  an- 
nual subsidy  of  £92,686,  which  is  not  actually  paid, 
but  is  retained  fo  satisfy  various  British  claims. 
Cyprus  was  given  a  new  constitution  in  1882,  with 
England  in  full  control,  as  the  island  commands  the 
route  to  the  Suez  Canal  and  the  eastern  Mediter- 
ranean. 

VOL.  11—13 


194  THE  MEDITERRANEAN" 

THE    ISLE    OF   RHODES. 

The  great  sentinel  outpost  of  Asia  Minor,  look- 
ing upon  the  sea  off  its  southwestern  angle,  and 
separated  from  the  mainland  only  by  a  channel 
barely  two  miles  wide,  is  the  famous  Isle  of  Rhodes, 
its  name  being  derived  from  a  Greek  word  meaning 
"  a  rose."  Pindar  tells  the  legend  that  this  island 
was  raised  from  the  depths  of  the  sea  by  Helios,  the 
sun  god,  who  was  its  ancient  tutelary  deity  and 
whose  image  was  stamped  upon  the  old-time 
Rhodian  coins,  accompanied  by  a  representation  of 
the  rose.  Rhodes  has  the  most  charming  sea  of 
deepest  blue  all  around  it,  and  its  best  present  fame 
comes  from  the  unsurpassed  scenic  attractions  and 
the  delicious  enjoyment  of  what  is  regarded  as  the 
finest  climate  in  the  Mediterranean.  The  island 
now  has  a  population  of  about  forty  thousand  Greeks, 
ruled  by  a  Turkish  pasha,  who  "  farms "  the 
revenues,  including  the  taxes  of  some  of  the  neigh- 
boring Sporades.  It  is  shaped  like  a  long  ellipse, 
stretching  nearly  southward,  with  a  surface  of  about 
four  hundred  and  fifty  square  miles,  and  having  a 
mountain  ridge  extending  through  it,  of  which  the 
highest  summit,  Artamiti,  the  ancient  Atabyris, 
rises  6,000  feet.  The  flanks  of  the  ridge  enclose 
well-watered  and  fertile  valleys,  but  the  cultivation 
is  only  indifferent,  some  cotton  being  grown,  and 
a  tract  of  low  hills,  adjoining  the  coast,  still 


THE  ISLE  OF  RHODES  195 

producing  the  perfumed  wine,  for  which  the  island 
was  formerly  celebrated.  There  are  exports  of 
marble,  coral,  leather,  sponges  and  fruits.  The 
earliest  settlers  were  Dorians,  and  it  originally  had 
three  cities,  Lindus,  lalysus  and  Camirus,  which 
joined  with  Cos,  Halicarnassus  and  Cnidus  in  mak- 
ing the  Doric  hexapolis.  It  became  an  important 
station  of  the  original  commerce  of  the  Phoenicians, 
and  grew  to  great  prosperity,  sending  out,  through 
its  Mediterranean  trading  expeditions,  colonies  to 
Italy,  Sicily  and  Spain.  The  Khodian  laws  upon 
maritime  affairs  were  considered  the  best  in  an- 
tiquity, and  they  contributed  to  the  formation  of 
the  Roman  code.  In  408  B.  C.  its  cities  joined 
in  building  the  new  city  of  Rhodes,  on  the  principal 
harbor,  at  the  northeastern  extremity  of  the  island, 
facing  the  mainland,  and  this  ancient  city  was  made 
the  capital.  It  then  was  Grecian,  but,  after  the 
death  of  Alexander  the  Great,  expelled  the  Mace- 
donian rulers  and,  becoming  an  independent  sov- 
ereignty, began  a  most  glorious  epoch.  It  entered 
into  alliance  with  Rome,  then  overshadowing  the 
Orient,  and  was  very  powerful,  ruling  all  the  neigh- 
boring regions. 

Strabo  described  this  ancient  capital  of  Rhodes 
as  superior  to  all  other  cities  then  existing,  in  the 
beauty  and  convenience  of  its  ports,  streets,  walls 
and  public  edifices,  all  of  them  profusely  decorated 
with  works  of  art.  There  were  said  to  have  been 


196  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

fully  three  thousand  statues  in  the  city.  It  was 
built  upon  an  amphitheatre  of  hills,  sloping  down 
to  the  shores  of  the  bay,  enclosed  between  two  capes. 
The  splendid  docks,  magnificent  palaces,  and  stately 
temples,  renowned  throughout  the  Mediterranean, 
and,  above  all,  the  stupendous  "  Colossus,"  which  was 
among  the  seven  wonders  of  the  world,  and  guarded 
the  harbor  entrance,  brought  here  admiring  tourists 
from  all  other  lands.  This  was  designed  and  built 
by  Chares  of  Lindus,  and  was  a  brazen  statue  of 
Apollo,  over  one  hundred  feet  high,  and  hollow,  con- 
taining 'a  winding  staircase  that  ascended  to  the 
head.  The  statue  stood  for  over  half  a  century,  but 
was  thrown  down  by  the  great  earthquake  which 
engulfed  Rhodes,  in  the  height  of  its  prosperity,  224 
B.  C.  This  cataclysm  destroyed  the  city,  and 
brought  masses  of  rocks  and  debris  up  out  of  the 
sea,  so  large  that  they  formed  new  islands,  which 
afterward  were  inhabited. 

The  Rhodians  were  almost  ruined  by  the  earth- 
quake, but  they  did  not  despair.  News  of  the 
catastrophe  spread  to  all  the  communities  of  Europe 
and  Asia,  with  which  they  were  in  such  close  com- 
mercial relation,  and  then,  as  in  more  recent  dis- 
asters, there  were  sent  enormous  relief  contributions. 
Gelon  and  Hieron,  kings  of  Sicily,  sent  ships  laden 
with  food,  wine  and  oil,  and  seventy-five  golden 
talents,  the  value  of  a  talent  being  then  nearly 
$1,000,  but  its  purchasing  power  ten  times  greater 


THE  ISLE  OF  RHODES  197 

than  now.  Ptolemy  of  Egypt  sent  three  hundred 
talents  of  silver,  ships  laden  with  timber  for  build- 
ing, a  million  measures  of  flour,  and  six  stout 
triremes  ready  for  trading  voyages.  Antigonus  of 
Babylon  sent  a  hundred  talents  of  silver,  three 
thousand  talents  of  iron,  and  much  pitch  and  lead, 
with  other  supplies,  besides  keeping  caravans  for  a 
year  on  the  routes  to  the  Mediterranean,  where  the 
materials  could  be  shipped  to  the  stricken  city.  He 
also  ordered  the  free  entry  of  all  Rhodian  ships  into 
the  ports  of  his  kingdom.  For  over  a  year  the 
fleets  of  all  nations  were  in  and  about  the  harbor 
of  Rhodes,  supplying  the  populace,  when  they  were 
rebuilding,  and  every  country  relieved  the  Rhodian 
commerce  of  dues  while  they  were  in  distress.  The 
city  of  Syracuse,  another  of  the  great  Greek  ports, 
erected  two  large  statues  in  the  marketplace  of 
Rhodes  to  typify  the  courage  of  its  merchants. 
The  generous  contributions  of  fleets  of  triremes  soon 
put  Rhodes  ahead  again  in  commercial  rivalry. 
The  huge  "  Colossus,"  after  laying  nine  centuries  on 
the  ground,  was  finally  sold  by  the  Saracens,  in  the 
seventh  century,  when  they  captured  Rhodes.  There 
were  about  nine  hundred  camels  employed  in  re- 
moving the  metal,  which  it  was  estimated  weighed 
nearly  four  hundred  tons. 

The  decadence  of  ancient  Rhodes  came  after  the 
death  of  Julius  Caesar,  whose  cause  it  had  espoused. 
It  was  captured  and  plundered  by  Cassius,  42  B.  C., 


198  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  declined  in  political  power,  but  continued  long 
as  a  seat  of  learning.  It  successively  fell  into  the 
hands  of  the  Saracenic  caliphs,  the  Crusaders  and  the 
Genoese.  In  1309,  when  the  Knights  of  St.  John  of 
Jerusalem  had  to  leave  Palestine,  they  landed  at 
Rhodes,  and  under  their  Grand  Master  Foulque  de 
Villaret,  vanquished  both  the  Moslems  and  the 
Greeks,  and  became  rulers  of  the  island,  which  they 
held  for  two  centuries.  In  1522  the  Moslems  de- 
termined to  recapture  it,  and  Solyman  the  Magnifi- 
cent sent  an  army  of  210,000  men  for  the  attack. 
The  Grand  Master,  at  the  time,  was  the  famous 
Villicas  de  1'Isle  Adam,  and  he  had  a  garrison  of 
only  six  thousand.  There  was  a  long  siege,  many 
assaults,  and  a  most  heroic  defence,  but  the  city  had 
to  capitulate  in  October,  and  the  Turks  have  held 
it  ever  since.  The  brave  survivors  of  the  defenders 
were  allowed  to  leave,  and  they  ultimately  settled  at 
Malta,  where  their  successors,  known  as  the  Knights 
of  Malta,  achieved  great  renown. 

Rhodes,  in  recent  times,  has  suffered  severely  from 
disasters,  particularly  the  earthquake  of  April  22, 
1863,  which  did  great  damage  and  killed  thousands. 
The  present  city  has  about  twenty  thousand  people, 
its  buildings  rising  in  the  amphitheatre  of  hills,  and 
surrounded  by  the  old  walls  and  towers,  mostly  built 
by  the  Knights.  A  narrow  quay,  running  obliquely 
into  the  bay,  divides  the  harbor,  while  up  on  the 
hill  are  the  remnants  of  the  venerable  palace  of  the 


THE  ISLE  OF  RHODES  199 

Grand  Master,  dominating  the  city.  This  was  a 
large  and  handsome  structure,  overlooking  the  har- 
bor, and  the  distant  horizon  beyond  the  sea,  the  bold 
coast  of  Asia  Minor,  ten  miles  away.  The  palace 
was  greatly  damaged  by  the  explosion  of  its  powder 
magazine  in  1856,  and  the  earthquake  of  1863  al- 
most destroyed  it,  as  well  as  the  adjacent  Church 
of  St.  John,  which  was  then  a  mosque.  There  still 
survive  some  of  the  residences  of  the  Knights,  on 
the  long  and  straight  main  street,  called  the  Street 
of  the  Knights,  and  of  the  castle,  which  was  sur- 
rounded by  a  moat,  and  built  massive,  spacious  and 
strong,  and  contained  their  cloisters.  The  famous 
Isle  of  Rhodes,  all  around  its  coasts,  is  washed  by 
the  waters  of  the  beautiful  ^Egean,  that  it  controlled 
for  so  many  centuries.  Lord  Byron,  who  was  one 
of  the  greatest  admirers  of  this  splendid  sea,  thus 
gives  it  his  magical  word  painting  in  the  Corsair: 

Again  the  ^gean,  heard  no  more  afar, 
Lulls  his  chafed  breast  from  elemental  war; 
Again  his  waves  in  milder  tints  unfold 
Their  long  array  of  sapphire  and  of  gold, 
Mix'd  with  the  shades  of  many  a  distant  isle 
That  frown  —  where  gentler  ocean  seems  to  smile. 


THE  GOLDEN  HORN 


Turkish  Lady.. 


XI 
THE  GOLDEN  HORN 

The  Dardanelles — Abydos — Sestos — Hero  and  Leander — Gallip- 
oli — Dardanus — The  Four  Castles — Sea  of  Marmora — The 
Bosporus — The  Euxine — Byzantium — The  Golden  Horn — 
Constantinople — Mohammed  II — Stamboul — Yadi  Kule — 
Scutari — Seraglio — The  Sublime  Porte — Galata — Pera  — 
Therapia — The  Sweet  Waters — The  Streets  and  Buildings — 
The  Dogs — The  People — Agia  Sophia — Other  Mosques — 
Othman — Solyman — Ahmed — The  At  Meidan — Mahmoud  II- 
— The  Janizaries — The  Treasury — Dolmah  Bagcheh  Palace — 
The  Bazaars — Abdul  Hamid  II — Mohammed  V — The  Yildiz 
Kiosk — The  Selamlik — The  Cemeteries — The  Cypress. 

THE    DARDANELLES. 

From  the  northern  extremity  of  the  ^Egean  Sea 
the  famous  strait  of  the  Dardanelles  extends  forty- 
five  miles  northeast  to  the  Sea  of  Marmora,  the 
ancient  Propontis.  It  was  originally  known  as  the 
Hellespontis,  whence  came  the  name  of  the  Helles- 
pont —  the  "  sea  of  Helle."  This  young  princess 
was  the  daughter  of  Athanias,  king  of  Thebes. 
When  her  brother  Phixus  was  about  to  be  sacri- 
ficed their  mother  Nephele  rescued  him,  and,  re- 
ceiving from  Mercury  the  ram  with  the  Golden 
Fleece,  placed  the  two  children  on  his  back,  where 
upon  the  ram  ran  off  to  Colchis,  at  the  farther  end 
203 


201  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

of  the  Euxine  (Black  Sea)  in  Asia.  Helle  un- 
fortunately fell  into  the  Hellespont,  in  crossing,  and 
the  strait  was  named  after  her.  It  was  to  capture 
this  Golden  Fleece  that  Jason  and  his  Argonauts 
sailed  on  their  adventurous  expedition.  At  the 
narrowest  part  of  the  Hellespont  entrance,  in  old 
times,  were  Abydos  and  Sestos.  A  low  strip  of 
land  projects  on  either  hand,  and  upon  each  strip 
there  was  a  city.  Abydos,  on  the  Asian  shore,  was 
originally  the  possession  of  the  Trojan  prince  Asius, 
and  afterward  was  occupied  by  the  Thracians  and 
Milesians.  In  430  B.  C.  Xerxes  built  a  bridge 
across  the  strait,  over  which  his  army  passed  for 
the  Grecian  invasion.  Sestos  opposite,  and  about 
one  mile  distant,  was  the  principal  city  of  the 
Thracian  Chersonesus.  It  was  never  populous,  but 
its  strategic  position  was  important.  From  Sestos 
the  army  of  Alexander  the  Great  sailed  on  his 
career  of  conquest  in  Asia.  The  site  is  now  called 
Yalova,  and  its  most  enduring  fame  comes  from  the 
romantic  story  of  Hero  and  Leander.  Hero  was  a 
priestess  in  the  Temple  of  Yenus,  at  Sestos,  and  it 
was  the  custom  of  Leander  to  swim  across  the  Hel- 
lespont to  visit  her.  One  tempestuous  night  he  was 
drowned,  and  the  billows  next  morning  cast  his 
lifeless  body  ashore.  When  the  despairing  Hero  be- 
held it  she  threw  herself  into  the  sea.  On  March 
8,  1810,  in  imitation  of  Leander,  Lord  Byron  swam 
across  the  Hellespont,  with  a  companion,  accomplish- 


THE  DARDANELLES  205 

ing  the  feat  in  seventy  minutes.  Gallipoli,  now  the 
port  of  the  Hellespont,  is  within  the  strait,  some 
distance  northeast  of  the  entrance,  unattractive,  but 
having  considerable  population  and  large  bazaars 
well  supplied  with  goods.  It  was  formerly  well 
fortified,  and  there  are  abundant  relics  of  the  Roman 
and  Byzantine  rule,  with  numerous  mosques  and 
fountains,  and  considerable  manufacturing  of  cot- 
ton, silk  and  leather.  It  has  two  good  harbors  and 
is  a  rendezvous  for  the  Turkish  fleets. 

On  the  Asian  shore  of  the  strait  there  formerly 
existed  the  town  of  Dardanus,  named  for  an  an- 
cestor of  the  Trojans,  and  from  this  is  supposed 
to  be  derived  the  modern  title  of  the  Dardanelles, 
by  which  th'e  strait  is  known.  These  Dardanelles 
are  in  reality  the  four  castles,  situated  on  the  oppo- 
site shores,  defending  the  entrance  from  the  ^Egean 
Sea.  One  of  them  occupies  the  promontory  of  the 
ancient  town,  which  Pliny  called  Dardenia,  to  which 
came  the  early  Trojan  hero.  He  was  a  king  of 
Arcadia,  who  migrated  from  that  country  to  Sam- 
othrace,  and  not  liking  the  island,  sought  a  home  on 
the  more  attractive  shore  of  the  strait.  These 
castles  are  the  Turkish  strongholds,  controlling  the 
entrance  and  access  to  Constantinople,  but  warships 
have  several  times  passed  them  without  serious  in- 
jury. The  two  outer  castles  are  Koum  Kale  or 
Hissar  Sultani  on  the  Asiatic  side,  and  Sed-il-Bahr 
on  the  European  shore.  They  were  built  by 


206  THE  MEDITERKANEAN 

Mohammed  IV,  in  1659,  to  secure  his  fleet  against 
the  Venetians,  who  used  to  attack  it  in  actual  sight 
of  the  inner  and  older  castles.  They  are  of  an 
obsolete  type,  but  kept  in  good  repair,  though  in- 
efficient, as  here  the  channel  is  nearly  five  miles 
wide.  The  two  older  castles  are  Tehanak  Kalesi, 
or  Kale  Sultanieh,  in  Asia,  and  Kilid  Bahr,  in 
Europe,  commanding  the  strait  inside,  at  a  point 
where  the  width  is  not  a  half-mile,  and  the  passage 
may  readily  be  closed  by  chains  and  mines.  The 
principal  defences  are  on  the  European  side,  being 
two  excellent  coast  batteries.  The  forts  are  all 
mounted  with  guns  of  the  largest  calibre  and 
modern  construction,  and  their  batteries  are  in  turn 
commanded  by  high  hills  in  the  rear.  Close  to  the 
older  European  castle  is  the  barrow  of  Hecuba, 
where  the  Athenians,  411  B.  C.,  erected  a  trophy. 
It  was  near  Kilid  Bahr,  in  1357,  that  Solyman 
planted  the  crescent  for  the  second  time  in  Europe, 
the  Ottoman  empire  afterward  having  a  wonderful 
growth,  through  its  conquests.  Turkey  always 
claims  that  no  foreign  war  vessel  should  be  allowed 
to  pass  the  Dardanelles,  as  this  is  the  entrance  to  a 
closed  sea. 

THE    BOSPORUS. 

After  sailing  through  the  Dardanelles,  the  sloping 
and  sinuous  shores  presenting  constant  scenes  of 
rural  beauty  and  many  towns  and  villas,  the  steamer 


THE  BOSPORUS  207 

from  the  ^Egean  emerges  in  the  Sea  of  Marmora, 
at  its  southwestern  extremity.  This  sea  obtains  its 
name  from  the  mountainous  and  barren  island  of 
Marmora,  the  ancient  Proconnessus,  which  the 
Turks  call  Marmor  Adony,  the  title  coming  from 
its  noted  quarries  of  fine  marble,  which  provide  the 
chief  supply  for  Constantinople.  Skirting  along  the 
distant  northern  shore,  a  sail  of  over  a  hundred 
miles  eastward  brings  the  vessel  to  the  northeastern 
verge  of  the  sea  and  the  entrance  to  the  Bosporus. 
This  strait,  about  sixteen  miles  long,  connects  Mar- 
mora with  the  Black  Sea.  Its  name  comes  from  a 
Greek  word  meaning  the  "  ox-ford  "  and  the  Turks 
call  it  Istambul  Boghaz,  or  the  "  Strait  of  Stamboul." 
The  original  source  of  the  name  Bosporus  is  believed 
to  be  the  legend  of  lo,  the  nymph,  who,  after  being 
metamorphosed  into  a  heifer,  passed  over  the  strait. 
It  varies  in  width  from  one-half  to  two  miles,  the 
narrowest  part  being  in  the  centre,  where  the  sur- 
face current  is  usually  very  strong,  setting  out  of  the 
Black  Sea,  while  there  is  a  constant  under  current 
in  the  opposite  direction.  The  shores  are  generally 
steep,  the  cliffs  and  glens  being  studded  with  ruins 
of  all  ages,  having  interspersed  the  gayer  buildings 
of  modern  times. 

According  to  tradition,  confirmed  by  the  geologists, 
this  Bosporus  Strait  seems  to  have  been  formed  by 
the  bursting  of  the  barriers  holding  back  the  waters 
of  the  Black  Sea,  which  originally  had  a  higher  level, 


208  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  covered  a  much  larger  surface  than  now.  It 
was  formerly  a  closed  sea,  so  declared  both  by 
Turkish  and  Russian  edicts,  but  since  the  Crimean 
War  it  has  by  later  treaties  been  thrown  open  to 
the  commerce  of  all  nations.  The  Black  Sea  was 
anciently  the  Pontus  Euxinus,  the  "  hospitable  sea." 
Its  large  accessions  of  fresh  water  from  the  Danube, 
the  Don,  and  other  great  rivers  not  only  make  it 
less  salty  than  the  Mediterranean,  but  also  produce 
very  strong  currents  that  set  with  more  or  less 
directness  toward  the  Bosporus.  Until  the  route  to 
India,  around  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope,  was  discov- 
ered, the  Bosporus  and  Black  Sea  were  the  highway 
of  the  Genoese  and  other  trade  with  the  Indies  and 
Central  Asia.  Upon  the  Bosporus  shores,  at  the 
narrowest  part,  near  the  centre,  are  the  famous 
castles  of  Asia  and  Europe  erected  by  the  Ottoman 
sultans  for  the  purpose  of  controlling  the  strait, 
when  they  overran  the  Byzantine  empire,  before  the 
capture  of  Constantinople.  Anatoli  Hissar  was 
built  by  Sultan  Mohammed  I  on  the  Asiatic  shore, 
and  Rum  Hi  Hissar,  on  the  European  side,  was 
a  later  construction  by  Mohammed  II,  in  1451, 
when  he  was  contemplating  an  attack  on  that  city. 

THE  BYZANTINE  CAPITAL. 

The  historian  Gibbon  has  written  that  the  site 
of  Constantinople  was  "  formed  by  nature  for  the 
centre  and  capital  of  a  great  monarchy."  It  stands 


Bosphorus;  View  of  Shores  of  Asia  and  Europe. 


THE  BYZANTINE  CAPITAL  209 

upon  a  promontory,  projecting,  as  a  triangular 
peninsula,  on  the  European  side  of  the  Bosporus. 
The  sea  of  Marmora  washes  this  upon  the  south,  and 
the  Golden  Horn,  the  harbor  of  the  city,  is  upon  the 
north.  The  Bosporus  is  indented  northward,  in 
front,  and  then  bends  northeastward  toward  the 
Black  Sea.  Something  over  a  mile,  within  the 
Bosporus  entrance,  the  Golden  Horn  goes  in  west- 
ward behind  the  promontory,  and  then  gracefully 
curves  around  to  the  northwest,  for  over  four  miles. 
This  crescent-shaped  and  amply  protected  harbor, 
which  now  has  on  its  shores,  in  Constantinople  and 
the  suburbs,  a  population  of  1,200,000,  early  at- 
tracted settlers,  and  the  wealth  of  its  commerce,  with 
its  shape,  soon  got  for  it  the  name  of  the  Golden 
Horn.  It  extends  inland  among  the  hills  to  where 
the  heights  on  either  side  seem  to  form  a  vast 
amphitheatre,  and  there  receives  the  waters  of  two 
streams,  the  Cydaris  and  Barbysus  of  the  ancients, 
the  "  two  whelps  of  the  oracle."  Strabo  says  it  is 
like  "  a  stag's  horn,  for  it  is  broken  into  wavy 
creeks,  like  so  many  branches,  into  which  the  fish 
polamys  running  is  easily  snared." 

Bles't  they  who  make  that  sacred  town  their  home, 
By  Pontus'  mouth  upon  the  shore  of  Thrace, 

There  where  two  whelps  lap  up  the  ocean  foam, 
Where  hind  and  fish  find  pasture  at  one  place. 

As    early    as    the    seventh    century    B.    C.     the 

Megarians    colonized    this    peninsular    promontory, 
VOL.  11—14 


210  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

building  their  Acropolis  on  the  highest  elevation, 
attracted  by  the  trade  between  the  Euxine,  Greece 
and  Egypt,  passing  through  the  strait;  and  the  set- 
tlement became  known  as  Byzantium.  It  was 
destroyed  by  the  Persians  under  Darius,  but  was  re- 
colonized  by  the  Greeks,  in  the  fifth  century  B.  C., 
and  grew  to  great  commercial  importance.  As  the 
various  Greek  nations  quarrelled  with  each  other, 
so  they  contended  for  its  possession,  and  in  turn 
Alcibiades,  Lysander,  Thrasybulus  and  Phocion 
controlled  it,  and  it  successfully  resisted  the  attack 
by  Philip  of  Macedon.  During  the  progress  of  this 
great  siege  we  are  told  that  the  dogs  barked  and 
the  moon  suddenly  burst  through  the  clouds,  just 
when  an  assault  was  to  be  made  under  cover  of  the 
darkness,  and  the  quick  flash  of  light  disclosing  the 
enemy,  who  were  repulsed,  the  defenders,  in  grati- 
tude, gave  the  dogs  immunity  and  worshipped  the 
moon  as  a  tutelary  deity,  taking  as  their  device 
the  crescent  and  star,  which  were  thereafter 
stamped  upon  the  Byzantine  coins.  When  the 
Turks  got  possession  in  the  fifteenth  century  they 
adopted  this  symbol  as  their  national  emblem.  The 
city  grew  in  prosperity  and  magnificence  under  the 
Greeks,  attracting  the  commerce  of  all  the  ancient 
world,  Alexander  the  Great  ultimately  getting  con- 
trol, at  the  height  of  its  successful  career. 

After  the  dissolution  of  Alexander's  empire    va- 
rious barbarians  made  incursions  upon  Byzantium, 


THE  BYZANTINE  CAPITAL  211 

the  Greeks  exacting  a  tribute  which  caused  the  peo- 
ple to  levy  a  toll  upon  all  vessels  passing  through  the 
Bosporus.  This  brought  on  a  war  with  the  island 
of  Rhodes  and  its  allies,  and  they  succeeded  in  hav- 
ing the  toll  removed.  Byzantium  entered  into  alli- 
ance with  Rome,  but  siding  against  Severus,  in  one 
of  the  many  Roman  civil  wars,  was  besieged  by  him 
for  three  years,  reduced  by  famine  and  captured,  the 
chief  citizens  being  put  to  death  and  the  massive 
walls  thrown  down.  Subsequently  it  regained  pros- 
perity, but  in  the  war  between  Constantine  and  Licin- 
ius  became  the  latter's  last  refuge,  Constantine 
ultimately  being  the  captor.  The  great  Roman  em- 
peror was  so  charmed  with  its  position,  capabilities, 
and  trade  that  he  resolved  to  build  a  new  city  on 
the  site,  intending  it  to  cover  seven  hills,  like  Rome, 
and  make  it  the  capital  of  the  Roman  empire,  giving 
it  his  own  name. 

Byzantium,  in  the  year  330  A.  D.,  thus  became 
merged  in  the  new  city  of  Constantine  —  Constanti- 
nople —  and  the  Byzantine  empire  was  founded, 
which  continued  its  existence  more  than  a  thousand 
years.  In  413  the  greater  part  of  the  city  was  de- 
stroyed by  an  earthquake,  but  it  recovered,  and  Mo- 
hammed, the  prophet,  when  he  began  the  religious 
crusade  of  Islam,  proclaimed  a  holy  war  against  Con- 
stantinople, as  the  great  stronghold  of  the  infidels, 
which  was  vigorously  prosecuted  by  his  successors. 
The  Moslems  besieged  it  in  668,  and  made  several  at- 


212  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

tacks  between  672  and  679,  again  besieging  in  717 
and  782,  but  being  always  repulsed.  Constantinople 
afterward  grew  to  enormous  size,  spreading  on  both 
sides  of  the  Bosporus  and  northward  of  the  Golden 
Horn,  with  a  million  population,  and  its  enlarge- 
ment being  attested  by  the  fact  that  in  the  eighth 
century  a  pestilence  destroyed  over  300,000  of  the 
people.  It  was  under  control  of  the  Crusaders  sub- 
sequently, and  the  Venetians  and  Genoese,  in  their 
Mediterranean  rivalry,  struggled  for  its  supremacy, 
while,  as  early  as  the  ninth  century,  the  Russians 
began  attacking  and  intriguing  for  its  mastery,  which 
has  been  continued  ever  since.  Throughout  the  mid- 
dle ages  it  withstood  many  sieges  by  Russians,  Bul- 
garians, Saracens,  Turks  and  others,  finally 
succumbing,  in  1453,  to  the  resistless  advance  of  the 
Ottoman  power.  For  a  long  time  the  conquering 
hosts  of  Islam  had  been  extending  their  control  on 
both  sides  of  the  Bosporus,  and  they  gradually  over- 
ran most  of  the  Byzantine  empire,  ultimately  making 
their  capital  at  Adrianople,  northwest  of  Constanti- 
nople. The  ablest  of  the  Turkish  sultans,  Moham- 
med II,  known  as  the  "  Great "  and  the  "  Victori- 
ous," who  was  born  in  1430,  succeeded  his  father  on 
the  throne  in  1451,  and  at  once  began  planning  its 
capture.  He  invested  Constantinople,  April  6,  1453, 
with  a  large  fleet  and  an  army  of  250,000  men,  the 
city  having,  as  its  only  help,  a  small  reinforcement 
sent  by  the  Genoese.  The  Turks  at  first  had  little 


THE  BYZANTINE  CAPITAL  213 

success,  being  unable  to  breach  the  walls  or  break  the 
chain  closing  the  harbor  entrance,  but  the  sultan 
had  his  ships  laboriously  carried  on  rollers  for  ten 
miles  over  the  land,  and  launched  on  the  upper  waters 
of  the  Golden  Horn.  There  were  constant  conflicts 
and  a  brave  defence,  but  after  fifty-three  days'  siege, 
the  walls  were  stormed  May  29,  1453,  and  Constanti- 
nople fell. 

Then  came  a  saturnalia,  the  city  for  three  days 
being  given  up  to  pillage  and  massacre.  Constan- 
tine  XIII,  the  last  Byzantine  emperor,  died  heroic- 
ally in  the  final  breach  of  the  walls,  defending  his 
people.  His  body  was  discovered  under  a  heap  of 
the  slain,  being  recognized  by  the  golden  eagles  em- 
broidered on  his  shoes.  The  head  was  cut  off,  and 
taken  to  Mohammed  as  a  trophy,  and  the  tradition 
is,  that  while  the  body  was  given  an  honorable  burial, 
the  head  was  sent  throughout  Persia  and  Arabia  on 
exhibition.  Most  of  the  people  of  the  city  were  sold 
into  slavery.  This  ended  the  Byzantine  empire, 
with  the  downfall  of  its  capital,  but  the  city  was 
destined  to  rise  again.  Like  Constantine,  Moham- 
med was  charmed  with  the  situation  and  capabilities 
of  the  place,  and  determined  to  make  Constantinople 
the  Ottoman  capital.  He  adopted  a  policy  of  mod- 
eration, took  the  Byzantine  crescent  and  star  for  the 
Turkish  national  emblem,  proclaimed  religious  toler- 
ation, and  granted  various  privileges  to  the  inhabi- 
tants. Mohammed  subsequently  made  further  great 


214  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

conquests,  acquiring  control  of  the  Grecian  Morea 
and  islands  of  the  archipelago.  He  died  at  Scutari 
in  May,  1481,  it  was  said  by  poison,  and  he  is  glori- 
fied in  Moslem  annals  as  the  "  Victorious,"  having 
conquered  two  empires,  twelve  kingdoms,  and  two 
hundred  cities.  The  Moslem  capture  of  Constanti- 
nople, in  1453,  was  regarded  as  a  great  blow  through- 
out Christendom,  and  when  Halley's  comet  came 
in  1456,  with  a  most  tremendous  apparition,  extend- 
ing sixty  degrees  across  the  heavens,  the  two  events 
were  coupled  and  caused  much  fear.  Pope  Calixtus 
III,  whose  brief  pontificate,  ending  in  1458,  was 
occupied  in  desperate  but  fruitless  efforts  to  get  the 
rulers  of  Europe  to  cease  quarrelling  and  unite 
against  the  enemy  of  their  religion,  is  said  by  tradi- 
tion to  have  issued  the  famous  "  Bull  against  the 
Comet,"  whence  comes  the  saying :  "  Lord  save  us 
from  the  Devil,  the  Turk  and  the  Comet." 

APPROACH    TO    CONSTANTINOPLE. 

The  steamer  on  the  Marmora  Sea,  in  the  after- 
noon, approaches  the  promontory  on  the  western  side 
of  the  entrance  to  the  Bosporus,  covered  by  the  build- 
ings and  gardens  of  the  oldest  part  of  Constantinople. 
A  smoky  haze  hangs  over  the  blue  hills,  and  the  many 
domes  and  minarets,  at  first  appearing  dim  and  dis- 
tant in  their  cloud-like  covering,  but  afterward  com- 
ing out  more  plainly  to  the  nearer  view.  This  is 
Stamboul,  or  "  the  city  of  Islam,"  the  oldest  part 


APPROACH  TO  CONSTANTINOPLE      215 

of  the  capital,  occupying  the  site  of  ancient  Byzan- 
tium. There  rise  up,  amid  the  gardens  and  build- 
ings, the  domes  and  minarets  of  many  mosques, 
groups  of  tall  cypresses,  and  the  terraced  roofs  of 
oriental  houses.  Most  prominently  seen  are  the 
dome  and  six  slender  minarets  of  the  Mosque  of 
Ahmed  on  the  hill  slope,  having  behind  it  the  dome 
and  four  minarets  of  the  famous  Agia  Sophia,  which 
•was  originally  Justinian's  Cathedral  Christian 
Church  of  St.  Sophia.  There  are  the  Mosque 
Sulimoniye,  founded  by  Solyman  the  Magnificent, 
and  various  others,  with  a  maze  of  buildings  and 
foliage  massed  on  the  sides  and  tops  of  the  sloping 
hills.  Over  to  the  left  the  city  wall  comes  down 
to  the  only  remaining  castle,  the  Yadi  Kule,  the 
"  Castle  of  the  Seven  Towers,"  the  fortress  on  the 
ridge  that  guarded  the  sea-end  of  the  walls,  and  is 
now  beautiful  in  ruin,  with  ivy  clustering  about  the 
towers  and  along  the  old  walls.  These  walls,  single 
on  the  sea  side,  are  of  triple  thickness  as  they  cross 
far  over  the  land,  northward  to  the  Golden  Horn, 
the  stout  defence  of  the  ancient  city,  strengthened  at 
intervals  by  towers,  and  having  twenty-seven  gates, 
as  they  extend  all  around  the  old  city.  Plans  are 
formed  for  removing  at  least  a  part  of  these  ancient 
walls,  so  as  to  modernize  and  beautify  the  city.  The 
moat  is  alongside,  but  long  ago  fell  into  disuse,  and 
is  now  chiefly  planted  with  vegetable  gardens.  This 
"  Castle  of  the  Seven  Towers "  was  the  frowning 


216  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

citadel  of  Constantinople,  and  afterward  became  a 
state  prison,  where  ferocious  sultans  were  wont  to 
confine  the  ambassadors  of  countries  against  which 
war  was  declared,  so  that  they  might  not  suffer  harm 
nor  conduct  intrigue.  Here,  in  turn,  were  seven 
sultans  imprisoned  when  the  relentless  and  powerful 
Janizaries  held  sway.  Many  tragic  tales  are  told 
of  the  dark  dungeons  in  these  old  towers,  while  the 
broad-topped  keep  gives  a  good  outlook  over  the  sea, 
and  on  a  clear  day  one  can  see  distant  Mount 
Olympus. 

The  steamer  rounds  the  end  of  the  promontory 
into  the  Bosporus,  and  over  on  the  opposite  Asian 
shore  spreads  far  away,  on  the  bank  and  up  the  hill 
slopes,  the  town  of  Scutari,  its  windows  blazing  back 
gorgeous  reflections  of  the  declining  western  sunlight, 
and  the  rows  of  tiled  roof  houses  standing  up  with 
great  distinctness.  The  large  square  building  of 
the  military  barracks  is  conspicuous,  while  nearer 
to  the  shore  is  the  noted  hospital  where  Florence 
Nightingale  nursed  the  English  soldiers  during  the 
Crimean  War,  and  acquired  undying  fame.  All 
about  are  dotted  clumps  of  the  sombre  cypress. 
Scutari  stands  on  the  site  of  ancient  Chrysopolis. 
Upon  the  European  side  of  the  Bosporus  the  marble 
palaces  and  villas  along  the  water's  edge  gleam 
white  against  the  blueness  of  the  hills,  while  the  high 
Seraglio  Point,  a  romantic  intermingling  of  domes, 
buildings  and  trees,  extends  for  over  a  mile  north- 


APPROACH  TO  CONSTANTINOPLE      217 

ward  along  the  shore,  thus  boldly  terminating  the 
promontory  of  Stamboul.  This  Seraglio,  where  was 
the  ancient  Acropolis,  is  the  Serai  Humayun,  a 
walled  city  of  itself,  having  a  circumference  of  two 
miles,  formerly  the  residence  of  the  sultan  until  he 
was  driven  out  by  a  great  fire,  which  partly  destroyed 
it  in  the  last  century.  It  was  then  inhabited  by 
about  six  thousand  persons  connected  with  the  court, 
and  its  wall  encloses  mosques,  dwelling  houses,  baths, 
gardens,  the  arsenal,  mint  and  treasury.  Along  the 
whole  Bosporus  front  is  a  quay,  outside  the  sea-wall, 
and  on  this  were  anciently  mounted  cannon  for  the 
defence  of  the  Seraglio.  Several  gates  are  in  the 
wall,  and  among  them  the  chief  and  great  gate  of 
the  Seraglio  is  the  Bab-i-Humayun,  the  Imperial 
Gate,  or  "  Sublime  Porte,"  from  which  came  the 
diplomatic  designation  of  the  Turkish  government, 
as  it  led  to  the  grand  vizier's  office  and  those  of 
other  high  functionaries  inside  the  wall.  This  gate, 
which  was  greatly  damaged  by  the  fire,  was  formerly 
kept  by  a  corps  of  fifty  porters.  -In  the  olden  time 
there  were  piled  up  on  the  side,  without  the  gate, 
pyramids  of  heads,  which  were  trophys  of  victory 
over  Christian  foes  or  Greek  or  Servian  rebels,  the 
bleached  skulls  being  ghastly  relics  of  Moslem  vic- 
tories. The  first  Seraglio,  the  Eski  Serai,  estab- 
lished by  Mohammed  II,  is  on  a  high  hill  in  the 
centre  of  Stamboul,  and  is  three-quarters  of  a  mile 
in  circumference,  being  now  the  war  office,  and  its 


218  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

tower  a  fire  alarm  station.  The  old  sultan,  Abdul 
Aziz,  when  he  abandoned  the  Seraglio  after  the  fire, 
made  his  home  at  the  palace  of  Dolmah  Bageheh,  up 
the  Bosporus,  and  upon  his  deposition,  May  30, 
18 76',  when  his  harem  was  removed,  there  were  fifty- 
two  boatloads  of  his  wives  and  their  attendants  taken 
out  of  the  palace.  Abdul  Aziz  allowed  his  ministers 
to  commit  the  greatest  excesses,  and  was  deposed 
by  a  successful  conspiracy,  being  killed  June  4,  1876, 
by  being  mysteriously  stabbed  with  scissors. 

Behind  the  Seraglio  Point  comes  out  the  crescent- 
shaped  arm  of  the  Golden  Horn,  dividing  old  Stam- 
boul  from  the  commercial  town  of  Galata,  on  its 
northern  shore.  Galata  is  a  busy  place,  its  fronting 
quay  lined  by  warehouses  and  merchants'  stores,  and 
behind  is  the  long  winding  main  street  constantly 
filled  by  a  motley  crowd.  Galata  was  originally  a 
colony  of  Genoese  traders,  being  built  by  them,  and 
is  still  practically  enclosed  by  their  old  wall  and 
moat,  of  nearly  a  mile  and  a  half  in  circumference. 
Above,  on  the  hillbrow  to  the  northward,  is  the  mod- 
ern town  of  Pera,  the  Greek  Persea,  meaning  "  the 
region  over  the  water,"  containing  fine  residences, 
the  hotels  and  the  best  of  the  newer  stores.  The 
chief  memory  of  the  Genoese  is  the  huge  round 
tower  rising  on  the  hill  summit,  140  feet  high,  built 
for  defence  and  as  a  watch-tower.  From  the  top 
there  is  an  admirable  view  over  the  city,  and  it  is 
now  used  as  a  fire  lookout  station  to  give  the  alarms. 


APPROACH  TO  CONSTANTINOPLE      219 

Constantinople  has  suffered  from  many  serious  fires, 
the  latest,  in  the  summer  of  1908,  in  Stamboul,  burn- 
ing over  two  thousand  buildings,  seven  lives  being 
lost.  The  Golden  Horn  is  filled  with  vessels,  and  is 
the  main  harbor,  but  disappoints  the  visitor  on  ac- 
count of  its  pollution  by  the  sewage  of  the  city  as 
much  as  the  Bosporus  delights.  An  immense  num- 
ber of  graceful  caiques,  the  gondolas  of  Constanti- 
nople, flit  over  the  waters  and  cross  to  and  from  the 
Scutari  shore.  The  Golden  Horn  is  less  than  a  half- 
mile  wide,  and  two  bridges  cross  it  between  Stamboul 
and  Galata,  displaying  crowded  processions  of  hu- 
manity. A  beautiful  white  mosque,  with  minarets, 
is  at  the  water's  edge  in  Galata,  fronting  the  Bos- 
porus, and  near  it  is  the  almost  dazzling  white 
Dolmah  Bagcheh  Palace,  the  residence  of  the  present 
Sultan,  Mohammed  V.  In  the  distance,  on  the  Pera 
heights,  stands  out  the  Palace  of  the  Yildiz  Kiosk, 
where  the  late  Sultan  Abdul  Hamid  lived  before  his 
downfall.  In  the  Golden  Horn  and  the  Bosporus 
there  is  anchorage  room  for  thousands  of  vessels. 
Over  in  front  of  Scutari  is  the  old  time  Leander's 
Tower,  rising  near  the  shore,  called  by  the  Turks 
Kiss  Koulessi,  or  the  Maiden's  Tower.  Beyond,  the 
city  gradually  dissolves  into  suburban  scenes,  and 
here,  along  the  bold  shore,  is  the  fashionable  resort 
of  Therapia,  with  lovely  villas  and  groves  of  cypress. 
About  eight  miles  from  Constantinople  a  cluster  of 
buildings  on  the  high  bank  has  the  American  flag 


220  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

floating  over  them,  the  Kobert  College,  founded  by  a 
citizen  of  New  York.  Just  beyond  are  the  Castles 
of  Europe  and  Asia,  which  originally  enabled  the 
sultans  to  control  the  strait,  and  here  Darius  is  said 
to  have  crossed,  on  a  bridge  of  boats,  when  he  in- 
vaded Greece.  Here  also  the  Crusaders  crossed  east- 
ward on  their  march  to  the  Holy  Land. 

THE    SWEET    WATEBS. 

On  both  sides  of  the  Bosporus  are  the  "  Sweet 
Waters."  Upon  a  wide  terrace,  at  Scutari,  is  the 
copious  fountain  of  the  "  Sweet  Waters  of  Asia," 
shaded  by  trees,  and  in  an  open  space  which  is  a  pop- 
ular resort.  This  is  the  name  given  by  the  Turks 
to  distinguish  fresh  water  from  the  salt  sea  water. 
At  the  head  of  the  Golden  Horn  the  chief  stream 
that  flows  into  it  is  known  as  the  "  Sweet  Waters 
of  Europe."  Here  in  the  suburb  of  Eyoub,  famed 
for  its  mosque  and  cemetery,  is  almost  the  only  park 
the  Constantinople  people  have,  excepting  the  ceme- 
teries, which  are  filled  with  gravestones  carved  with 
fez  or  turban,  under  the  cypress  trees,  and  are  ex- 
tensively used  for  recreation.  In  the  green  valley 
of  the  "  Sweet  Waters  of  Europe,"  where  sycamores 
and  willows  line  the  banks  of  the  brook,  the  Turkish 
women  gather,  especially  on  Friday  afternoon,  and 
closely  covered  with  their  large  white  enveloping 
veils,  recline  on  mats  stretched  by  the  water's  edge. 
The  observer  cannot  fail  to  see,  however,  that  the  veil 


Gateway  of  the  Imperial  Palace  of   the  Sweet 
Waters  of  Asia. 


THE  SWEET  WATERS  221 

is  not  always  a  perfect  concealment,  being  occasion- 
ally lifted,  when  the  face  may  be  comely  and  the  eye 
lustrous.  These  "  Sweet  Waters,"  however,  soon  be- 
come defiled,  when  they  flow  along  into  the  Golden 
Horn. 

The  favorable  impression  made  by  the  picturesque 
aspect  of  Constantinople  and  its  beautiful  shores  is 
dissipated  upon  landing.  The  streets  are  generally 
crooked,  narrow,  and  dirty,  and  the  ordinary  build- 
ings mostly  of  wood,  and  dilapidated,  though  several 
large  fires  that  occurred  during  the  nineteenth  cen- 
tury resulted  in  improvements  in  some  sections,  both 
in  the  streets  and  houses.  The  old  city  is  about 
twelve  miles  in  circumference,  and  the  irregularity 
of  its  ancient  streets  defies  all  attempts  to  find  one's 
way  without  a  guide.  They  are  badly  paved,  poorly 
lighted,  and  the  haunt  of  thousands  of  homeless  dogs, 
while  beggars  infest  every  public  place,  especially 
where  visitors  resort.  The  dogs,  having  been  given 
immunity  long  centuries  ago,  wander  at  will.  They 
are  the  city  scavengers,  who  dispose  of  the  garbage, 
which  is  thrown  into  the  streets  for  their  delectation. 
Excepting  when  they  are  growling  and  fighting  for 
this,  they  are  usually  curled  up  asleep,  are  rarely 
seen  on  the  alert,  and  many  of  them  hobble  about 
with  damaged  limbs,  from  having  been  run  ovei1 
by  passing  vehicles.  Most  of  them  seem  half  starved, 
as  the  supply  of  garbage  is  rarely  sufficient  to  feed 
the  multitude.  Nobody  molests  them,  excepting  the 


222  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

two-footed  scavenger,  who  wanders  around  with  a 
long  iron  hook,  to  rake  over  the  garbage  heaps  for 
bones  and  other  prizes,  and  the  dogs  regard  him  as  a 
detested  rival,  but  keep  out  of  reach  of  the  hook. 
Their  prevalent  color  is  a  tawny  dull  yellow,  and 
they  usually  have  sharp  noses,  bushy  tails  and  long 
hair,  though  it  is  rarely  long  enough  to  make  a 
shaggy  coat.  Their  look  is  rather  wolfish,  but 
they  are  sneaks  rather  than  bold  animals.  There  are 
a  few  black  and  white  dogs,  some  that  are  shaggy, 
some  very  small,  and  many  puppies.  These  dogs 
seem  to  have  a  police  idea,  for  they  drive  strange 
dogs  out  of  their  wonted  localities.  Though  some 
of  the  dogs  are  always  barking  and  howling,  yet  no- 
body seems  to  notice  them.  The  Moslem's  favorite 
word  of  derision  is  to  call  his  enemy  a  dog,  and  in 
Constantinople  you  neither  can  interfere  with  a  dog 
nor  call  anybody  by  that  name  if  you  would  be  safe. 
The  visitor  is  also  soon  made  aware  of  the  pecul- 
iarities of  the  Turkish  system  of  time-keeping.  The 
counting  of  the  twenty-four  hours  is  regulated  by 
sunset,  and  the  hours  are  counted  until  the  next  sun- 
set, being  divided  into  minutes  and  seconds  as  else- 
where. But  as  the  actual  time  of  sunset  changes, 
and  the  elapsed  time  between  one  sunset  and  another 
is  not  a  fixed  quantity,  a  watch,  to  keep  correct 
Turkish  time,  has  to  be  reset  every  day.  An  attempt 
was  recently  made  to  change  this  system  to  conform 
to  European  time,  but  it  caused  such  an  uproar  in 


THE  SWEET  WATERS  223 

the  Parliament  that  the  president  had  to  leave  the 
house  and  close  the  session,  and  the  motion  after- 
ward was  withdrawn. 

Pera,  being  the  most  modern,  is  the  most  attractive 
of  the  cities  forming  Constantinople,  and  the  visitor, 
usually  housed  here,  soon  gets  to  know  it.  The 
Grand  Rue,  with  its  hotels  and  shops,  though  narrow 
in  places,  is  a  street  reminding  of  Paris,  with  its 
theatres,  cafe-gardens,  kiosks  and  brilliant  show-win- 
dows. An  underground  railway,  going  through  an 
inclined  tunnel,  takes  the  tourist  down  to  Galata,  and 
then  it  is  the  usual  custom  to  cross  the  Golden  Horn, 
to  visit  the  Turkish  quarters  in  old  Stamboul.  The 
bridge  crossing  is  attractive,  giving  on  each  side  the 
view  of  the  Golden  Horn,  with  its  shipping  and  the 
many  dainty  caiques  gliding  upon  the  smooth  waters. 
Carriages  cross  with  turbaned  Turks  and  veiled 
ladies;  porters  carry  huge  boxes  and  sacks  on  their 
backs ;  beggars,  soldiers,  slaves,  and  all  kinds  of  peo- 
ple pass  in  endless  procession,  two  unending  streams, 
one  moving  each  way,  from  dawn  until  late  at  night. 
The  crowds  are  of  varied  nationality  and  costumes. 
The  Turks  are  in  turbans  or  red  fez,  with  the  better 
class  wearing  modern  clothing,  but  many  in  oriental 
garb;  there  are  Moslems  with  a  green  sash  wound 
around  the  fez,  denoting  that  the  wearer  has  made  a 
pilgrimage  to  Mecca ;  Moslem  priests,  some  in  white 
turbans  and  others  in  high  green  turbans;  bearded 
Greek  priests  in  black  robes  and  tall,  peculiar  hats; 


224:  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Turks  in  gold  embroidered  trousers  and  jackets,  and 
long,  flowing,  blue  sleeves ;  Turkish  soldiers  with  red 
fez  and  blue  uniforms;  Bulgarian  and  Russian 
priests  having  fleecy,  sheepskin  coats,  the  fleece  worn 
inside;  Dervishes  wearing  high-crowned,  brimless 
hats  and  brown  mantles;  long,  yellow-coated  Jews, 
having  little  curls  at  the  sides  of  their  heads ;  jet-black 
Nubians  with  glistening  skins  and  tattooed  faces; 
confectionery  peddlers  having  trays  on  their  heads 
or  backs ;  Turkish  women  wrapped  sometimes  in  gor- 
geous shawls,  their  faces  concealed  behind  the  large 
white  veils ;  and  a  multitude  of  others,  men,  women, 
children,  babies,  and  animals,  all  moving  with  an  ap- 
pearance of  haste,  as  the  speedy  transfer  of  the 
crowds  of  passengers  requires  it.  But  this  is  al- 
most the  only  exhibition  of  haste  in  the  Turkish 
capital.  At  each  end  of  the  bridge  a  half  dozen 
toll  collectors,  in  long,  white  mantles,  stand  in  line 
across  the  highway,  collecting  ten  paras  (about  one 
cent)  from  each  person  crossing. 

THE    AGIA    SOPHIA. 

The  oriental  characteristics  of  the  old  city  have 
not  been  essentially  changed  by  modern  improve- 
ments. The  number  of  foreigners,  however,  in- 
creases, though  the  Jiamels  or  porters  still  carry  bur- 
dens on  their  backs,  and  the  clumsy  Turkish  carriage, 
called  the  aroba,  yet  goes  along  the  narrow,  crooked 
streets.  The  bazaars  and  market  halls  are  pictur- 


Mosque  of  St.  Sophia. 


THE  AGIA  SOPHIA  225 

esque  and  bustling,  but  there  are  few  open  spaces  or 
squares.  Two  aqueducts,  nine  or  ten  miles  long, 
supply  the  city  with  water,  their  construction  hav- 
ing been  accomplished  by  the  Emperors  Hadrian  and 
Constantine.  The  extensive  system  of  cisterns  that 
received  their  waters  was  sufficiently  capacious  to  pro- 
vide the  supply  for  a  million  people,  during  four 
months,  a  necessity  for  a  city  almost  perpetually 
subject  to  assault  and  siege.  The  great  reservoir 
still  used,  the  cisterna  basilica,  was  made  by  Justin- 
ian, its  roof  resting  upon  more  than  three  hundred 
columns,  supporting  overhead  arches.  In  crossing 
the  bridge  over  the  Golden  Horn  the  dome  and  two 
slender  minarets  of  the  mosque  in  the  Seraglio  stand 
out  clearly  against  the  sky,  though  the  visitor  seldom 
goes  there,  but  ascends  the  hill  slope,  seeking  the 
greater  mosque  and  most  famous  building  of  the  city, 
the  Agia  Sophia,  the  "  Church  of  the  Divine  Wis- 
dom," which  is  at  the  head  of  the  long  list  of  about 
five  hundred  mosques  and  five  thousand  smaller 
prayer  houses  in  Constantinople.  This  was  origi- 
nally the  Church  of  St.  Sophia,  founded  by  Constan- 
tine in  325,  rebuilt  by  Justinian,  transferred  into  a 
mosque  by  Mohammed  II,  and  thoroughly  renovated 
and  restored  in  1847.  It  is  built  of  light  bricks  and 
lined  with  colored  marbles,  the  ground  plan  being  a 
Greek  cross,  350  feet  long  by  236  feet  wide,  with  the 
dome  of  107  feet  diameter,  and  the  height,  from 

ground  to  cupola,  180  feet.     The  ceilings,  and  arches 
VOL.  11—15 


226  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

between  the  columns  are  lined  with  beautiful  mosaic 
work  and  gilt.  The  gallery,  fifty  feet  broad,  is  sus- 
tained by  sixty-seven  magnificent  columns.  There 
are  nine  massive  bronze  portals  covered  with  artistic 
alto-relievo  work.  Several  churches  had  been  pre- 
viously built  on  this  site,  when  in  the  early  sixth  cen- 
tury the  Emperor  Justinian  determined  to  construct 
here  a  cathedral  which  not  only  should  glorify  his 
name,  but  would  differ  in  design  from  every  existing 
Christian  temple  of  that  early  time  and  surpass  all 
others  in  magnificence,  making,  as  the  chronicler  has 
enthusiastically  expressed  it,  a  structure  "  such  as 
since  Adam  has  never  been  seen."  So  Justinian 
ransacked  the  Byzantine  empire  for  contributions, 
as  it  was  then  at  the  height  of  its  power. 

He  secured,  from  all  regions,  gifts  of  ivory,  gold, 
silver,  precious  stones,  the  rarest  marbles,  cedar  and 
other  choice  woods;  brought  columns  of  green  jasper 
from  the  Temple  of  Diana  at  Ephesus;  porphyry 
columns  from  the  Temple  of  the  Sun  at  Baalbek; 
pure  white  marble  columns  from  the  Parthenon  and 
other  structures  at  Athens;  the  choicest  granite  and 
sandstone  pillars  from  the  shrines  of  Osiris,  Isis  and 
Horus  in  Egypt,  and  got  marbles  of  every  hue  and 
texture  from  the  most  famous  quarries  of  Italy, 
Greece,  and  the  ^Egean  Islands.  Thus  he  procured 
the  best  materials  for  building  and  decoration  that 
the  world  produced  in  his  era,  and  also  brought  to 
Constantinople  the  most  skilled  handicraftsmen. 


THE  AGIA  SOPHIA  22Y 

One  hundred  architects  and  master  builders  directed 
the  labors  of  ten  thousand  workmen,  for  six  years, 
and  the  renowned  temple,  the  greatest  of  the  early 
Christian  world,  was  then  ready  for  dedication. 
The  tradition  also  tells  us  that  the  funds  for  this 
vast  work  were  miraculously  supplied,  through  the 
assistance  of  an  angel,  who  appeared  to  the  emperor 
at  critical  periods,  during  the  construction,  and  in- 
dicated the  way  to  get  necessary  money,  the  aggre- 
gate cost  being  $5,000,000,  an  enormous  sum  at  that 
time.  The  high  altar  was  of  silver  and  gold,  there 
were  seven  chairs  for  the  bishops,  all  plated  with 
silver,  the  crosses  were  of  pure  gold,  precious  stones 
decorated  the  altar-cloth  and  other  furnishings  and 
vestments,  while  sacred  paintings,  holy  relics  and 
images  of  the  saints,  all  profusely  jeweled  and  orna- 
mented, were  everywhere  displayed.  The  ponderous 
doors  were  of  the  best  cedar,  enriched  with  amber, 
silver  and  ivory ;  delicate  carvings  inset  with  precious 
stones,  silver  and  mother-of-pearl  ornamented  the 
columns  and  their  capitals ;  polished  marbles  covered 
the  walls;  and  the  most  elaborate  mosaics,  in  which 
gold  was  profuse,  adorned  the  extensive  ceilings. 
This  wonderful  structure  had  a  grand  dedication, 
when  an  army  of  princes  and  dignitaries  of  the 
church  attended,  a  vast  concourse  of  the  people  were 
assembled,  and  the  proud  emperor,  overjoyed  at  the 
consummation  of  his  great  work,  is  said  to  have  pros- 
trated himself  in  front  of  the  altar,  exclaiming, 


228  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

"  Glory  to  God,  who  has  deemed  me  worthy  to  accom- 
plish so  great  a  work :  O  Solomon,  I  have  surpassed 
thee!" 

St.  Sophia  was,  for  a  thousand  years,  the  greatest 
church  of  the  Byzantine  empire  and  all  Christen- 
dom, until  in  the  fifteenth  century  Mohammed  II 
captured  Constantinople.  We  are  told  that  when 
hope  of  successful  resistance  to  the  Moslem  siege  was 
lost,  and  the  city  walls  were  breached,  the  Christians 
crowded  into  this  temple,  praying  that  the  church 
at  least  might  be  spared,  but  Mohammed  II,  flushed 
with  victory,  boldly  rode  into  it  upon  his  charger, 
and  striking  one  of  the  columns  with  his  sword 
loudly  proclaimed,  "  There  is  no  God  but  Allah,  and 
Mohammed  is  his  prophet."  Then  followed  the  ter- 
rible massacre  and  pillage,  continuing  three  days, 
during  which  the  emblems  of  Christianity  were  torn 
down  or  effaced,  and  Moslem  devices  superseded 
them.  The  captors  destroyed  the  altar  and  crosses, 
melted  the  gold  and  silver,  removed  the  images  of 
the  saints,  and  carried  off  all  the  jewels,  precious 
stones,  and  everything  of  value.  St.  Sophia  has 
since  been  a  mosque,  and  to  it  once  a  year  the  sultan 
goes  to  pray,  though  his  fear  of  assassination  is  such 
that  the  streets  through  which  he  passes,  have  to  be 
cleared  of  people  while  the  escorting  procession  is 
moving. 

The  approach  to  St.  Sophia  is  a  disappointment, 
the  church  being  so  surrounded  by  other  buildings 


THE  AGIA  SOPHIA  229 

that  a  good  view  cannot  be  had,  excepting  from  a 
long  distance,  and  it  is  impossible  anywhere  to  get  a 
sight  of  the  four  minarets  at  the  same  time.  The 
outer  walls  are  horizontally  striped  in  faded  pink 
and  buff,  and  are  not  impressive.  The  visitor  pays 
his  entrance  fee  in  Turkish  money,  equivalent  to 
about  forty  cents,  covers  his  shoes  with  the  loose  and 
clumsy  slippers  provided,  so  that  the  mosque  floor 
may  not  be  profaned,  and  enters,  when  the  disap- 
pointment soon  changes  to  awe  and  delight,  as  the 
immense  size  and  grandeur  of  the  structure  are  ap- 
preciated and  the  soft-toned  coloring  admired. 
Handsome  rugs  cover  much  of  the  floor,  which  ex- 
ceeds an  acre  in  surface.  Neither  pews,  chairs  nor 
benches  are  provided,  and  the  Moslem  worshippers 
kneel  where  they  may  please,  their  faces  all  turned  to- 
ward the  black  stone  in  the  south  wall,  indicating  the 
direction  of  the  holy  city  of  Mecca.  Eaising  the  eyes 
to  the  wonderful  dome,  towering  180  feet  above, 
yet  so  light  and  airy,  the  visitor  is  astonished  at  the 
vastness  of  the  structure,  and  appreciates  the  wealth 
of  the  mosaics,  still  remaining  on  the  ceiling,  the 
ponderous  splendor  of  four  huge  columns,  each 
seventy  feet  in  circumference,  supporting  the  dome, 
and  the  magnificence  of  the  porphyry,  granite,  sand- 
stone, jasper  and  other  pillars,  so  profusely  dis- 
tributed around.  An  encircling  girdle  of  forty-four 
windows,  in  the  dome,  lights  up  the  mosaic  in 
the  ceiling,  but  the  portions  that  originally  gave  rep- 


230  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

reservations  of  the  Almighty  have  been  obliterated 
and  covered  with  green  cloth,  on  which  are  printed 
verses  from  the  Koran,  in  gilt  Arabic  characters 
about  thirty  feet  long.  Above  where  the  high  altar 
formerly  stood  can  still  be  traced  the  outline  of  an 
obliterated  cross,  though  overlaid  with  Moslem  in- 
signia. There  are  eight  huge  green  shields,  high  on 
the  walls,  covered  with  Arabic  texts.  In  one  of  the 
bronze  covered  pillars  is  a  small  hole  that  is  always 
damp,  and  its  exhalations,  when  breathed  upon  the 
truly  faithful,  are  said  to  have  a  miraculous  healing 
power.  There  is  also  in  one  place  on  the  marble 
wall  the  supposed  imprint  of  a  bloody  hand,  said  to 
have  been  made  by  the  Sultan  Mohammed  II  when 
he  rode  into  the  church.  Every  Friday  the  red- 
robed  Moslem  priest  ascends  the  pulpit,  to  make  a 
prayer  for  the  sultan,  and  as  he  does  so  holds  the 
Koran  in  one  hand  and  in  the  other  a  drawn  sword, 
typical  of  the  militant  energy  of  Islam,  which  has 
special  significance,  as  the  Moslem  captured  this  tem- 
ple from  the  Christian.  Upon  the  wall  hangs  the 
personal  prayer  rug  of  Mohammed  II,  the  captor, 
which  despite  its  age,  still  retains  much  of  the  origi- 
nal beauty.  On  special  occasions  St.  Sophia  is 
illuminated  in  the  evenings.  There  are  many  hang- 
ing lamps  to  furnish  light,  the  most  prominent  occa- 
sion being  the  Friday  evening  ending  the  month's 
fast  of  Ramadan,  the  Moslem  Lent.  Then,  to  in- 
crease the  light,  are  added  several  thousand  little 


SOME  OTHER  MOSQUES  231 

cups,  with  floating  wicks,  distributed  in  the  chande- 
liers and  galleries,  but  the  ample  smoke  from  them 
tends  to  obscure  the  atmosphere.  Through  the  par- 
tial eclipse,  however,  the  long  lines  of  kneeling  fig- 
ures on  the  floor  present  a  varied  spectacle,  and  the 
mosque  seems  even  more  wonderful  in  this  peculiar 
light  than  it  is  by  day. 

SOME    OTHER    MOSQUES. 

The  Emperor  Justinian  built  a  model  of  St.  So- 
phia as  a  guide  for  the  architects,  and  this  is  not  far 
away,  the  Katchuk  Sophia  Mosque,  or  the  "  Little 
Sophia,"  and  quite  attractive.  The  sultan  of  Tur- 
key is  known  to  his  own  people  as  the  Padishah,  or 
"  supreme  ruler  "  of  the  dynasty  of  Othman,  and  the 
people  as  Osmanlis.  This  hero,  the  founder  of  the 
long  line  of  Turkish  sovereigns  and  the  first  ruler 
of  the  Ottoman  empire,  was  the  son  of  a  Seljuk 
chief,  born  in  Bithynia  in  1259,  being  called  indiffer- 
ently Othman  or  Osman.  He  was  the  first  Moslem 
who  made  serious  inroads  upon  the  later  Byzantine 
empire,  captured  NicaBa,  was  surnamed  the  "  Con- 
queror," and  on  account  of  his  great  strength  and  ex- 
ploits was  called  the  "  Bonebreaker,"  and  after  mak- 
ing other  conquests  he  died  in  1326.  Out  in  the 
suburb  of  Eyoub,  near  the  "  Sweet  Waters  of  Eu- 
rope," the  head  stream  of  the  Golden  Horn,  is  a  mys- 
terious mosque  to  which  only  the  Moslem  is  ad- 
mitted, a  shrine  that  neither  of  the  unbelievers,  the 


232  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Giaour  nor  the  Jew,  can  enter.  Here  are  kept  the 
relics  and  memorials  of  the  great  Othman.  To  this 
place  came,  in  the  first  holy  war  against  Byzantium, 
the  standard  bearer  of  the  great  Prophet  Mohammed, 
in  one  of  the  attacks  made  in  the  seventh  century, 
and  was  slain.  Near  the  mosque  is  an  august  mauso- 
leum, under  a  lofty  palm  tree,  which  is  the  shrine 
of  the  standard  bearer  himself,  whose  body  was  found 
here  long  afterward,  the  inscriptions  recording  that 
"  five  times  daily  he  prostrated  himself  in  prayer, 
and  the  archangels  stretched  forth  their  arms  to 
anoint  him  as  he  knelt:  coveted  be  the  life  he  lived 
and  the  death  he  died."  Within  the  mosque  are  kept 
Mohammed's  mantle,  and  his  green  standard,  which 
we.  are  told  was  woven  when  the  prophet  was  a  youth 
in  Arabia.  Sentinels  guard  it  day  and  night,  and 
once  a  year  it  is  taken  out  of  the  rosewood  casket, 
which  is  incrusted  with  precious  jewels,  pearl  and 
gems,  its  forty  separate  silken  coverings  are  un- 
wrapped, and  it  is  exhibited  for  the  admiration  of 
the  faithful.  To  this  mosque  goes  every  new  sultan, 
on  his  accession  to  power,  to  be  girded  with  the  great 
sword  of  his  ancestor  and  have  the  sacred  banner 
unfurled  over  him. 

Othman's  grandson,  Amuroth,  made  serious  inroads 
upon  the  Byzantine  empire,  capturing  Adrianople 
in  1361,  and  he  organized  that  powerful  body  of  in- 
fantry, the  Janizaries,  which  was  so  long  the  pride 
of  the  Turkish  army,  but  in  its  later  career  degener- 


SOME  OTHER  MOSQUES  233 

ated.  The  Turkish  sultan  is  supreme,  excepting  in 
deciding  various  questions  of  religion  and  law,  when 
he  must  consult  the  Grand  Mufti,  who  holds  his 
office  for  life,  the  Sheikh  ul  Islam,  the  head  of  the 
Ulema,  which  is  the  potential  organization  of  the 
learned  men  of  the  empire,  who  officially  interpret 
the  Koran. 

Solyman  the  Magnificent,  under  whom  the  Ottoman 
government  attained  the  zenith  of  its  military  power, 
lived  in  the  sixteenth  century,  and  made  the  code  of 
laws  and  regulations  which  so  long  governed  the  em- 
pire, and  is  still  greatly  respected.  He  built  the 
Solymanye  Mosque,  in  1550,  a  structure  of  great 
beauty,  which  has  been  well  described  as  a  splendid 
mass  of  exquisite  blue  and  white  Persian  pottery. 
There  are  also  the  Mosque  of  Mohammed  II,  with 
which  are  associated  eight  colleges  for  the  education 
of  youth,  a  hospital  and  refectory  for  the  poor;  the 
Kilisse  Jamih,  or  "  Mosque  of  the  Churches,"  which 
\vas  the  burial  place  of  several  Byzantine  emperors ; 
the  Exi  Marmora  Jamih,  or  "  mosque  of  the  six  mar- 
ble columns,"  said  to  have  originally  been  a  temple 
of  Jupiter ;  the  Shah  Sadeh  Jamih,  or  "  mosque  of 
the  princes ;  "  the  Nuri  Osmani,  in  the  vestibule  of 
which  stands  a  sarcophagus  of  porphyry  that  once 
contained  the  mortal  remains  of  Constantine  the 
Great;  and  there  rises  also  in  admirable  view  the 
glittering  and  airy  white  minaret  of  the  "  Mosque 
of  the  Sun  and  Moon  Sultana,"  built  by  her,  accord- 


234  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

ing  to  the  legend,  from  the  sale  of  the  jewels  set  in 
one  of  her  slippers. 

'The  mosques  all  have  fountains  and  basins,  to  pro- 
vide for  the  preliminary  ablutions  which  give  the 
purification  that  is  such  an  important  adjunct  of  the 
religion  of  Islam.  There  are  also  many  other  foun- 
tains supplying  pure  running  waters  throughout  the 
city,  which  vary  in  size  and  magnificence,  most  hav- 
ing been  the  gifts  of  sultans  and  great  officials  and 
nobles.  Some  are  little  more  than  spouts  or  vents 
in  a  wall,  while  others  are  elaborate  marble  pagodas 
and  temples,  with  projecting  eaves  and  dome-like 
roofs,  richly  decorated  and  inscribed  with  suitable 
texts.  Upon  many  are  the  words  in  Arabic  which 
being  translated  mean :  "  By  water  everything  lives." 
The  finest  fountain  of  all,  a  splendid  structure  in 
carved  arabesque,  with  delicately  colored  green  tiles, 
built  by  Sultan  Ahmed,  near  the  At  Meidan  square, 
has  the  gilded  inscription  over  the  water  tap  which 
says :  "  Wayfarer,  admire  this  beautiful  work ; 
turn  the  tap  in  the  name  of  Allah ;  drink  thy  fill  and 
bless  the  founder,  Ahmed  Kahn."  Sultan  Ahmed  also 
constructed  the  chief  mosque  built  by  the  Moslems 
in  the  city.  It  is  the  only  one  having  six  minarets, 
an  honor  that  had  previously  been  reserved  for  Mecca 
alone,  and  when  permission  was  asked  to  build  them 
it  was  delayed  until  the  number  at  Mecca  had  been 
increased  to  seven.  There  rise  from  this  mosque 
nine  cupolas  and  domes,  the  central  one  being 


SOME  OTHER  MOSQUES  235 

supported  on  four  colossal  dome-topped  towers.  The 
interior  is  gorgeous,  illumined  by  lamps  set  in  emer- 
alds and  suspended  by  gold  cbains.  Enormous  can- 
dles, in  splendid  candlesticks,  flank  the  mihrab  or 
prayer  niche,  and  on  gilded  lecterns  are  kept  rare 
copies  of  the  Koran.  The  pulpit  is  of  hewn  stone, 
reproducing  that  of  Mecca,  and  is  famous  as  the  one 
from  which  the  Grand  Mufti  promulgated  the  edict 
against  the  Janizaries. 

Adjoining  is  the  open  square  of  the  At  Meidan, 
or  the  "  Horse  Square,"  which  was  originally  the 
hippodrome,  the  mosque  and  other  buildings  now  oc- 
cupying much  of  the  original  ground,  which  had 
been  the  site  of  the  ancient  royal  palace  of  the 
Greeks.  This  place  became  the  Roman  hippodrome, 
surrounded  by  splendid  porticos,  and  having  a  seat- 
ing capacity  for  eighty  thousand  people,  who  wit- 
nessed the  gladiatorial  combats,  triumphal  proces- 
sions and  sports.  There  stands  at  the  end  of  the 
square  the  obelisk  of  Theodosius  the  Great,  a  tall 
red  granite  shaft,  covered  with  hieroglyphics,  that 
was  erected  by  Thothmes  III  at  Heliopolis,  in  Egypt, 
who  placed  upon  it  the  statement  that  "  he  had  con- 
quered the  whole  world,  and  his  throne  was  as  firm 
as  that  of  the  gods  in  the  sky."  Theodosius  brought 
this  obelisk,  as  a  trophy,  from  Egypt,  and  set  it  up 
in  the  hippodrome.  He  had  his  own  portrait  carved 
on  the  base,  surrounded  by  his  court.  In  the  centre 
of  the  square  is  the  famous  column  formed  of  the 


23G  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

three  serpents  coiled  around  each  other,  erected  origi- 
nally at  Delphi  in  commemoration  of  the  battle  of 
Plataaa.  Here  also  stood,  for  several  centuries,  the 
four  splendid  gilded  and  bronze  horses  brought  from 
Rome  bj  Constantine,  which  the  Crusaders  after- 
ward carried  off  to  Venice,  and  are  now  in  front  of 
the  Venetian  Church  of  San  Marco.  But  the  later 
notoriety  of  the  At  Meidan  square  is  connected  with 
the  downfall  of  the  Janizaries,  as  here  they  made 
their  last  stand. 

This  noted  organization  of  the  Turkish  infantry 
was  first  formed  in  the  fourteenth  century  as  a  spe- 
cial force  to  defend  and  spread  the  doctrines  of 
Islam,  and  it  was  then  recruited  mainly  from  the 
Sclavic  proselytes  and  Christian  slaves,  who  had  em- 
braced that  religion.  They  powerfully  aided  in  the 
capture  of  Constantinople,  and  became  a  most  for- 
midable force,  being  at  the  height  of  their  efficiency 
under  Solyman  the  Magnificent,  when  they  were  con- 
ceded to  be  the  best  disciplined  military  body  in  Eu- 
rope and  contributed  largely  to  Moslem  conquests. 
In  the  battalion  organization  their  junior  officer  was 
the  cook,  for  whom  they  had  great  reverence,  and 
they  never  appeared  without  a  wooden  spoon  in  their 
turbans.  Upon  extraordinary  occasions  they  always 
assembled  around  their  soup  kettles,  their  revolts 
being  proclaimed  by  reversing  these  kettles,  and  to 
lose  one  of  them  in  battle  was  regarded  as  a  disgrace 
similar  to  losing  the  colors. 


SOME  OTHER  MOSQUES  237 

After  Solyman's  time  the  organization  gradually 
degenerated  in  character,  and  its  membership  was 
largely  made  up  of  vagabonds  and  adventurers. 
They  repeatedly  mutinied  against  subsequent  sultans, 
in  some  cases  deposing  them,  imprisoning  and  killing 
them,  and  they  frequently  pillaged  cities  they  were 
guarding.  Selim  III,  in  1798,  attempted  to  defy 
them,  and  they  revolted,  compelling  his  abdication, 
procuring  his  death  in  July,  and  committing  terrible 
outrages  afterward  in  Constantinople.  Mahmoud 
II  ascended  the  throne,  and  was  compelled  to  pardon 
their  leaders,  but  he  quietly  matured  plans  for  sup- 
planting them.  He  began  enforcing  his  new  policy 
in  1828,  and  this  led  to  a  revolt  in  June,  the  Jani- 
zaries committing  horrible  massacres.  They  assem- 
bled and  reversed  their  soup  kettles,  but  the  Grand 
Mufti  pronounced  the  sultan's  edict,  displayed  the 
sacred  standard  of  Mohammed,  which  the  people 
were  summoned  to  support,  and  the  public  all  sus- 
tained the  sultan.  The  Janizaries  were  savagely  at- 
tacked by  soldiers  and  sailors,  artillery  was  brought 
against  them,  some  were  burned  alive  in  their  bar- 
racks, and  they  made  their  final  desperate  defence 
in  the  At  Meidan,  where  they  were  cannonaded,  and, 
being  driven  out,  were  massacred  in  the  neighboring 
streets.  For  nearly  three  months  the  carnage  con- 
tinued, about  twenty-five  thousand  Janizaries  being 
killed,  while  others  were  captured  and  exiled.  This 
long  famous  force  was  never  reorganized. 


238  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 


THE    SERAGLIO    AND    TEEASTJKY. 

A  high  wall  surrounds  the  Seraglio,  which  is  now 
rather  a  Museum  of  Curiosities  since  the  sultans 
abandoned  it  as  a  residence.  Fees  amounting  to 
about  five  dollars  will  give  a  small  party  of  visitors 
admittance.  It  is  in  the  oldest  part  of  old  Stamboul, 
and  the  Seraglio  Point,  stretching  high  and  boldly 
out  among  the  Sea  of  Marmora,  the  Bosporus  and 
the  Golden  Horn,  gives  a  magnificent  view.  This 
was  the  site  of  the  royal  palace,  where,  for  twenty- 
five  centuries,  kings,  emperors,  and  sultans  lived, 
until  the  fire  drove  out  Abdul  Aziz,  in  the  nineteenth 
century.  Its  chief  building  is  the  fine  marble  Treas- 
ury, where  are  kept  the  trophies  gathered  by  the 
Turks,  in  their  many  years  of  successful  warfare 
during  the  middle  ages,  and  also  the  crown  jewels 
and  other  valuable  heirlooms.  In  one  large  apart- 
ment is  exhibited,  in  glass  cases,  a  series  of  figures 
representing  the  sultans  from  Mohammed  II  to  the 
present  time,  clothed  in  their  royal  attire.  These 
costumes  display  the  greatest  oriental  splendors. 
One  sultan  wears  a  suit  of  the '  olden  time  chain 
armor,  ornamented  with  gold  and  diamonds.  The 
robes  of  state  are  flowered  and  figured  heavily  with 
gold  and  silver,  the  turbans  are  of  large  size,  some- 
times rising  fifteen  inches,  with  equal  width,  ablaze 
with  aigrettes  and  costly  jewels,  one  of  these  orna- 
ments containing  a  ruby  and  two  emeralds,  flawless 


THE  SERAGLIO  AND  TREASURY      239 

and  as  large  as  pigeons'  eggs.  With  each  uniform  is 
the  belt,  sword  and  dagger  carried  by  the  sultan,  the 
jeweled  handles  adorned  with  sparkling  gems.  The 
robes  and  ornaments  differ  in  pattern,  but  all  are 
rich  and  costly,  though  the  older  costumes  contrast 
strikingly  with  the  latest  one,  which  is  a  modern  red 
military  uniform  covered  with  gold  braid.  There 
are  also  portraits  of  the  sultans,  almost  all  of  them 
wearing  full  beards. 

When  the  Turkish  empire  had  its  period  of  great- 
est military  success  the  knights  and  warriors  of  all 
nations  vied  with  each  other  in  the.  splendors  of  equi- 
page, and  the  oriental  courts  and  camps  were  mag- 
nificently decorated.  Hence  this  Treasury  is  full  of 
the  rich  spoils  of  conquest  and  trophies  of  victory. 
There  are  two  splendid  thrones  that  were  captured 
from  shahs  of  Persia.  One  of  these,  taken  four  cen- 
turies ago,  is  of  large  size,  made  of  beaten  gold,  and 
covered  with  rubies,  emeralds  and  pearls,  arranged  in 
attractive  patterns.  The  seat  of  crimson  velvet  is 
also  embroidered  with  gold  and  pearls.  The  other 
and  smaller  throne  is  even  more  richly  ornamented, 
being  encrusted  with  larger  jewels,  and  from  the 
centre  of  the  surmounting  canopy  is  suspended  a 
huge  pear-shaped  emerald.  In  several  rooms  are 
kept  innumerable  swords,  scimitars,  daggers,  crowns 
and  sceptres,  with  jewels  galore,  and  guns  and  weap- 
ons of  every  description,  many  of  them  engraved 
with  mottoes  in  gold  and  silver  and  highly  orna- 


240  THJs  MEDITERRANEAN 

merited.  There  are  vessels  of  gold  and  silver,  rare 
china,  jewel  boxes,  embroideries,  and  many  rich 
gifts  sent  by  other  rulers,  as  all  the  embassies  and 
visiting  deputations  in  the  Orient  present  gifts. 
The  Moslem  rulers  in  their  days  of  successful  war- 
fare gathered  the  rich  spoil  which  is  now  displayed 
in  these  sumptuous  apartments.  The  visit  to  the 
Treasury  is  closed  by  refreshments  of  black  Turkish 
coffee  in  small  cups  and  Turkish  sweetmeats  served 
in  a  marble  reception  hall,  for  all  foreign  visitors 
have  to  get  special  permits  and  are  regarded  as  the 
sultan's  guests.  There  is  an  extensive  Museum  of 
Antiquities  in  which  are  displayed  the  archaeological 
relics  gathered  from  all  parts  of  the  empire. 

Xone  of  the  buildings  in  the  Seraglio  are  now  used 
for  state  ceremonies,  the  sultan's  official  home  for 
this  purpose  being  the  marble  Dolmah  Bagcheh  Pal- 
ace, down  by  the  Bosporus.  This  is  a  splendid  struc- 
ture, and  the  sultan's  imperial  receptions  are  held  in 
the  throne  room,  which  is  the  largest  and  most  gor- 
geous of  all  the  apartments,  and  will  accommodate 
five  thousand  people.  It  is  elaborately  decorated 
in  white  and  gold,  Corinthian  columns  surround 
it  at  the  walls,  and  the  ceiling  rises  in  a  mag- 
nificent dome.  On  the  day  after  the  end  of  the  great 
fast  of  Ramadan  the  sultan  comes  into  this  splendid 
hall  to  receive  the  homage  of  his  officials  and  the 
nobility,  giving  audience  to  several  thousands  of  the 
highest  dignitaries,  officers  of  state,  of  the  army 


THE  SERAGLIO  AND  TREASURY      2il 

and  navy,  the  heads  of  the  Moslem  church  and  re- 
ligious orders,  all  making  obeisance  to  him,  bowing 
low  to  kiss  the  hem  of  his  garment,  and  pressing  it 
reverently  to  their  foreheads  in  token  of  loyalty,  as 
he  reclines  on  a  splendid  crimson  and  gold  divan. 
Then  they  solemnly  retire  backward  from  his  pres- 
ence, as  all  of  the  faithful  must  always  face  the 
sultan.  Outside,  there  is  cannon  firing,  band  play- 
ing and  universal  rejoicing,  the  mosques  being  illu- 
minated at  night.  This  begins  the  feast  of  Bairam, 
a  three-day  festival  following  the  month  of  fasting. 
One  of  the  most  prominent  attractions  of  old 
Stamboul,  for  the  stranger,  is  the  group  of  bazaars, 
nestling  in  a  valley  between  the  higher  hills  of  the 
city.  These  are  a  mass  of  labyrinthine  passageways, 
all  covered  for  protection  from  the  sun  and  rain, 
bordered  by  little  shops,  each  with  its  own  propri- 
etor, and  making  what  an  American  would  call 
an  immense  department  store.  The  aggregation 
spreads  over  several  acres,  there  being  a  thousand 
narrow  streets  and  passageways,  totalling  a  length  of 
about  nine  miles,  and  some  four  thousand  diminutive 
shops.  To  many  visitors  this  is  the  most  interesting 
place  in  Constantinople,  and  they  go  back  to  it  re- 
peatedly, though  at  the  risk  of  losing  their  way,  as 
the  intricate  passages  wander  around  aimlessly  and 
without  guiding  signs.  There  are  probably  a  hun- 
dred different  entrances.  The  supplies  of  goods 

offered  for  sale  seem  practically  exhaustless,  and,  at 
VOL.  11—16 


242  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

one  place  or  another,  can  be  found  the  wares  and 
merchandise  of  every  nation. 

Among  the  most  attractive  parts  of  this  section 
of  the  city  is  the  Bezestan,  a  spacious  court  near 
the  centre,  guarded  by  thick  stone  walls  and  heavy 
iron  doors,  being  the  chief  treasure  house  of  the  mer- 
chants, who  here  keep  their  choicest  goods.  In  these 
bazaars  the  long  passageways  have  arched  roofs  and 
decorated  ceilings,  the  little  shops  or  stalls  being  on 
either  side,  and  having  raised  platforms  for  floors 
and  well  stocked  shelves  behind.  Here  are  seen  the 
native  people  of  all  races,  in  their  most  picturesque 
costumes,  and  there  goes  on  a  constant  game  of  adroit 
bargaining,  for  the  price  usually  first  asked  for  an 
article  is  about  three  times  the  amount  that  the  very 
polite  and  grandly  turbaned  or  stylishly  fezzed  owner 
of  the  shop  is  willing  to  take  for  it.  Everything  is 
for  sale ;  there  are  dealers  in  diamonds  and  precious 
stones,  jewels  and  gems,  keepsakes  of  all  kinds,  Per- 
sian carpets,  shawls,  prayer  rugs,  richly  ornamented 
arms,  harness  and  leather  goods,  slippers  sewed  with 
pearls,  gold  wrought  tobacco  pouches,  vials  of  pre- 
cious attar  of  roses,  furs,  skins,  silks,  satins,  gauze, 
spices,  porcelain  and  glassware.  Here  are  the  shops 
of  gunsmiths,  tent  makers,  turban  and  fez  makers,' 
and  the  most  attractive  candy  and  cook-shops  and 
cafes.  A  constant  and  most  noisy  chaffering  goes 
on,  but  after  apparent  dispute  and  most  vociferous 
protest,  all  ends  well,  and  the  patient  buyer,  who  has 


Date-seller. 


THE  CHIEF  OF  ISLAM  243 

held  out  long  enough,  finds  that  he  has  got  the  goods, 
as  he  hoped,  cheaply,  while  the  dealer  who  has  raged, 
protested,  stormed,  and  finally  yielded  to  a  most 
ruinous  reduction,  having  made  the  sale,  and  really 
at  a  good  profit,  becomes  affable,  and  presents  the 
buyer  with  some  small  trinket  or  keepsake,  as  a 
backsheesh,  showing  his  regard,  and  politely  inviting 
the  visitor  to  call  again. 

THE    CHIEF    OF    ISLAM. 

The  sultan  of  Turkey  is  not  only  the  monarch  of 
the  Ottoman  empire,  but  is  also  the  spiritual  chief  of 
Islam,  a  prerogative  which  really  gives  him  the  most 
power.  More  than  three  centuries  ago  the  Ottoman 
empire  assumed  the  title  of  the  khalifate,  when  the 
keys  of  the  holy  places  of  Islam  were  handed  to  Sul- 
tan Selim  by  a  sherif  of  the  prophet's  family.  The 
present  sultan  is  Mohammed  Rechad  Effendi,  or  Mo- 
hammed V,  born  in  1845,  who  was  proclaimed  sul- 
tan, April  27,  1909,  when  his  older  brother  Abdul 
Hamid  II,  who  had  been  sultan  since  August  31, 
1876,  was  dethroned.  His  family  has  been  supreme 
in  Constantinople  for  twenty-four  generations,  ever 
since  Mohammed  II  captured  the  city  in  the  fifteenth 
century.  Mohammed  is  somewhat  of  an  invalid, 
and  is  not  noted  for  much  activity,  having,  for  most 
of  his  life,  been  kept  in  captivity  by  Abdul  Hamid, 
who  evidently  was  in  dread  of  the  revolution  that  ul- 
timately came.  Abdul  Hamid  was  crafty  and  cruel, 


244  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

but  a  hard  worker,  and  kept  himself  in  power  by 
extraordinary  feats  of  diplomacy  and  cunning.  He 
was  much  of  a  recluse,  owing  to  the  frequent  at- 
tempts at  assassination.  The  story  goes  that  it  used 
to  cost  him  about  $900  every  night  to  have  his  sleep- 
ing apartments  guarded,  this  being  paid  in  fees,  to 
the  generals  and  other  officials,  who  by  turns  con- 
ducted the  long  vigils,  as  every  night  there  were%on 
duty  a  couple  of  generals,  a  colonel  and  a  detachment 
of  picked  soldiers,  who  paced  the  corridors  outside 
his  bedroom,  in  the  Yildiz  Kiosk,  where  his  favorite 
chamber  had  a  beautiful  satinwood  door,  inlaid  with 
mother-of-pearl.  Similarly,  the  necessity  for  protec- 
tion made  his  kitchen  costly,  though  he  was  but  a 
sparing  eater.  The  imperial  kitchen,  where  his 
meals  were  prepared,  was  much  like  a  fortress,  hav- 
ing an  armor-plated  door,  fitted  with  special  locks, 
which  could  only  be  opened  by  the  chief  official. 
Each  course,  when  prepared,  was  placed  on  a  silver 
dish,  and  sealed  with  red  wax  by  the  official  specially 
responsible  for  the  food,  a  black  velvet  cover  being 
used  to  keep  it  warm.  Everyone  engaged  in  the 
preparation  followed  the  dish  in  procession  from  the 
kitchen  to  the  monarch,  the  seal  being  broken  in  the 
sultan's  presence.  Often,  the  chief  official,  called 
the  kelardjhi,  was  requested  to  taste  some  of  the 
food  before  his  master  ate  it.  Abdul  Hamid  was 
fond  of  music  and  the  drama,  having  a  private  the- 
atre in  the  palace,  and  he  was  also  a  fine  horseman, 


THE  CHIEF  OF  ISLAM  245 

possessing  hundreds  of  horses,  many  of  them  the  best 
Arabian  steeds. 

Discontent  was  frequent  during  his  reign,  and  in 
the  summer  of  1908,  yielding  to  the  unrest  which 
had  resulted  in  the  formation  of  the  powerful  Young 
Turkish  party,  who  wished  relief  from  oppressive 
rulers,  Abdul  Hamid  changed  his  cabinet,  to  prevent 
a  rebellion,  and  revived  the  short-lived  constitution 
of  1876.  Upon  July  28,  in  the  presence  of  the 
Sheikh  ul  Islam,  the  head  of  the  hierarchy,  he  took 
the  oath  of  allegiance  to  this  constitution  upon  the 
Koran.  Subsequently  he  convoked  the  first  Turkish 
parliament,  and  its  members  chosen  throughout  the 
empire,  in  November,  convened  December  17,  1908, 
in  the  Parliament  House,  the  Chiragan  Palace,  un- 
der the  shadow  of  the  Agia  Sophia.  It  represented 
all  the  creeds  and  races  of  Turkey,  Moslems,  Jews 
and  Christians,  Greeks,  Sclavs,  Bulgarians,  Kurds, 
Armenians,  Turks,  Albanians,  Arabs,  and  its  assem- 
blage was  greeted  by  approving  addresses  and  tele- 
grams from  all  the  parliaments  and  congresses  of 
the  civilized  world.  The  opening  day  was  pro- 
claimed a  general  holiday,  the  city  being  handsomely 
decorated.  The  sultan  rode  in  state  from  the  Yildiz 
Kiosk,  the  streets  being  lined  by  troops  and  crowded 
with  people,  and  he  formally  opened  the  session,  his 
chancellor  reading  the  speech  from  the  throne.  The 
Chiragan  Palace  was  unfortunately  burnt  in  Jan- 
uary, 1910,  causing  a  loss  of  $7,500,000. 


246  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  Young  Turks  were  in  power,  but  despite  all 
efforts  to  soothe  the  situation  the  reactionaries  began 
to  resume  control,  and  this  being  covertly  aided  by 
Abdul  Hamid,  an  outbreak  came  in  Constantinople 
in  April,  1909,  followed  by  the  Armenian  massacres 
in  Asia  Minor  and  a  general  disturbance.  The 
troops  at  the  capital,  under  reactionary  control,  and 
it  was  said  at  the  secret  instigation  of  Abdul  Hamid, 
revolted,  and  on  April  13  took  possession  of  the  city, 
after  a  brief  conflict,  in  which  some  thirty  lives  were 
lost.  The  old  cabinet  was  overthrown,  the  parlia- 
ment practically  suppressed,  and  a  new  reactionary 
cabinet  installed.  While  the  sultan  declared  that 
peace  had  been  restored  under  this  new  regime,  there 
was  nevertheless  a  great  disturbance  throughout  the 
empire,  and  though  he  went  in  great  pomp  to  the 
mosque  on  Friday,  April  16,  this  proved  to  be  his 
last  Selamlik,  as  that  ceremony  is  called.  The 
portion  of  the  Turkish  army  still  controlled  by  the 
Young  Turks  was  gathered  at  Saloniki,  and  they 
marched  upon  Constantinople,  capturing  it  on  the 
24th,  after  battles  resulting  in  several  hundreds  be- 
ing killed  and  wounded,  got  possession  of  the  Yildiz 
Kiosk,  and  dethroned  Abdul  Hamid.  The  parlia- 
ment met  outside  the  city  and  voted  his  deposition, 
after  the  necessary  "  fetva  "  had  been  promulgated 
by  Djeinaletdin  Effendi,  the  then  Sheikh  ul  Islam,  on 
April  27,  and  his  younger  brother  Mohammed  was 
enthroned  and  proclaimed  that  afternoon.  The 


THE  CHIEF  OF  ISLAM  247 

"  fetva  "  declared  that  Abdul  Hamid  had  squandered 
the  wealth  of  the  country,  broken  the  laws,  burnt  the 
sacred  books,  and  spilt  blood  and  fathered  massacres, 
and  therefore  must  be  deposed.  Soon  after,  in  the 
ministry  of  war,  the  Sheikh  ul  Islam  and  a  commis- 
sion from  the  Parliament  attended  the  new  sultan, 
the  sheikh  administered  the  oath  to  obey  the  consti- 
tution, and  the  cabinet  ministers  and  president  and 
members  of  parliament  paid  homage.  Outside,  the 
artillery  thundered  the  salute  of  101  guns,  proclaim- 
ing the  enthronement  of  the  new  sultan  as  Mo- 
hammed V,  and  he  took  up  his  royal  abode  in  the 
beautiful  Dolmah  Bagcheh  Palace,  down  by  the  Bos- 
porus, where  he  had  been  imprisoned  for  thirty  years. 
On  the  next  day  he  went  to  the  Eyoub  Mosque,  and 
girded  on  the  sacred  sword  of  Othman,  and  on  the 
following  Friday,  April  30,  quietly  celebrated  his 
first  Selamlik,  at  the  Agia  Sophia. 

Abdul  Hamid,  with  his  immediate  family  and 
part  of  his  harem,  was  sent  to  Saloniki.  Then  began 
a  series  of  summary  punishments  of  his  adherents. 
On  April  28  two  hundred  and  fifty  of  his  officials 
and  followers,  headed  by  his  palace  eunuch,  the  colos- 
sal Nubian  Nadir  Pasha,  popularly  known  as  the 
"  Black  Sultan,"  were  convicted  by  a  military  court 
of  having  conspired  to  make  the  revolt  of  April  13, 
and  were  promptly  executed.  Nadir  was  hanged 
at  dawn  on  the  Galata  bridge,  and  his  body  viewed 
for  several  hours  by  the  pedestrians  crossing  it,  until 


248  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

it  was  cut  down  toward  noon.  For  several  weeks 
there  were  public  hangings  in  conspicuous  places 
about  the  city,  this  being  done  as  a  warning  to 
future  conspirators.  The  new  sultan  in  May  changed 
his  entire  cabinet,  and  also  appointed  a  new 
Sheikh  ul  Islam  as  head  of  the  Moslem  faith,  Mollah 
Sahib,  a  prominent  theologian,  classed  as  a  Liberal, 
sympathizing  with  the  new  regime. 

The  Yildiz  Kiosk  and  its  many  buildings,  so  long 
the  home  of  Abdul  Hamid,  with  its  park,  gardens 
and  lakes,  were  turned  over  to  the  city  authorities 
for  a  public  resort.  This  palace  was  originally  a 
pleasure  house  of  the  sultans,  on  the  heights  overlook- 
ing Pera,  Stamboul  and  the  Bosporus.  Soon  after 
coming  to  the  throne,  Abdul  Hamid,  who  was  always 
apprehensive  about  his  personal  security,  made  it  his 
abode.  The  park  is  surrounded  by  a  wall,  in  some 
parts  fifty  feet  high.  He  greatly  enlarged  the 
grounds  by  acquiring  adjacent  estates,  and  con- 
structed many  new  buildings.  Within  the  enclosure, 
a  second  wall  surrounded  the  kiosk  where  he  lived, 
which  he  designed,  and  adjacent  were  several  smaller 
kiosks,  built  for  the  ladies  of  the  harem.  He  always 
had  the  doors  of  this  inner  barrier  locked  at  sunset, 
remaining  inside  in  assured  security.  Two  batteries 
of  artillery  and  an  army  corps  of  about  7,000  men 
usually  were  on  duty  as  guards  of  the  domain,  their 
spacious  barracks  being  outside  the  wall,  where  a 
special  mosque  also  was  built  for  them.  The  new 


THE  CHIEF  OF  ISLAM  249 

V 

government  thoroughly  searched  the  place  for  hidden 
treasures,  and  with  most  successful  result.  There 
were  found  in  it  about  $3,500,000  in  money,  jewels, 
gems  and  other  valuables,  appraised  at  $13,000,000, 
and  deposit  books  and  other  documents  showing  that 
the  old  sultan  had  about  $27,000,000  in  the  German 
Imperial  Bank  at  Berlin  and  other  banks  outside  of 
Turkey.  This  money  the  Turkish  government  has 
been  trying  to  recover,  but  with  scant  success.  One 
most  gorgeous  pearl  necklace  found  was  said  to  be 
worth  $350,000.  The  park  contains  forests  and  five 
lakes  with  little  islands.  There  were  twenty  thou- 
sand pigeons  about  the  grounds  and  buildings,  and 
nearly  five  hundred  horses  in  the  stables,  mostly  of 
pure  Arabian  breed,  many  deer,  monkeys,  thirteen 
camels,  and  rare  birds,  one  corridor  being  the  home 
of  numerous  parrots.  Various  archaeological  curios- 
ities were  found,  that  had  been  sent  in  as  gifts  from 
remote  provinces,  but  there  were  few  paintings,  and 
only  a  small  number  of  rare  books.  A  museum  con- 
tained a  valuable  collection  of  arms,  including  a 
thousand  revolvers,  and  there  were  twenty  thousand 
curious  keys,  of  which  Abdul  Hamid  was  an  indus- 
trious collector,  with  thousands  of  rosaries  and 
shibuks  (Turkish  pipes).  A  rich  display  of  Per- 
sian, Gobelin  and  Turkish  carpets  and  tapestries  was 
also  gathered,  that  had  been  placed  in  the  many  cha- 
lets, kiosks  and  pavilions  the  sultan  had  built  in  the 
park.  The  whole  place  was  a  curious  aggregation, 


250  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  one  of  the  investigators  described  it  as  "  not  a 
palace  at  all ;  it  is  a  labyrinth ;  it  has  the  air  of  hav- 
ing been  constructed  with  the  unique  object  of 
rendering  pursuit  along  the  endless  corridors  impos- 
sible." The  extensive  harem  that  he  kept  was  dis- 
persed. Some  of  the  ladies  went  with  Abdul  Hamid 
to  Saloniki;  others  chose  to  go  to  the  harems  of 
princes  and  officials,  while  the  remainder  are  kept  at 
the  public  expense,  it  is  adroitly  said  "  until  they  are 
asked  in  marriage."  Eighty  of  these  women  were 
taken  in  closed  carriages  on  May  16th  to  the  Old 
Seraglio  in  Stamboul,  followed  by  an  extensive  pro- 
cession of  vans,  carrying  their  luggage.  Abdul 
Hamid  surrendered  everything,  and  was  given  an  al- 
lowance of  $4,500  monthly,  his  two  sons  and  daugh- 
ters each  receiving  $2,700,  making  $12,600  monthly 
cost  for  the  support  of  his  new  establishment  at  Sa- 
loniki. 

Among  the  gems  said  to  have  been  at  one  time 
owned  by  Abdul  Hamid  was  the  famous  "  Hope 
Blue  Diamond."  This  originally  was  cut  from  a 
large  blue  stone,  weighing  112  carats,  making  a  sap- 
phire of  441/2  carats,  owned  by  Mr.  Henry  T.  Hope, 
of  London.  Its  origin  is  unknown,  but  its  pos- 
sessors in  recent  centuries  have  generally  met  with 
misfortune,  and  it  has  been  regarded  as  possessed  by 
the  genii  of  evil.  It  was  brought  to  .Delhi,  India, 
and  there  sparkled  in  the  diadem  of  a  Hindu  god. 
Jean  Tavernier  got  it  there  and  brought  it  to  Europe 


THE  CHIEF  OF  ISLAM  251 

in  the  seventeenth  century.  He  had  to  sell  his  estate 
to  pay  his  debts  and  the  gem  went  to  Louis  XIV, 
who  loaned  it  to  Madame  de  Montespau,  when  at 
once  her  power  over  the  "  grande  monarque  "  began 
wavering.  Afterward,  Fouquet  wore  it  and  fell  into 
disgrace.  It  came  to  Louis  XVI,  who  presented  it 
to  Queen  Marie  Antoinette,  and  both  were  beheaded. 
The  Princess  Lamballe,  a  lady  of  their  court,  wore 
it,  and  she  was  killed  by  a  Parisian  mob.  Then  it 
was  put  into  the  hands  of  an  Amsterdam  diamond 
cutter,  William  Fals,  to  be  recut,  whereupon  his  son 
stole  it,  which  resulted  in  ruining  the  father  and  the 
suicide  of  the  son.  Henry  T.  Hope  then  got  it,  suf- 
fered misfortunes  for  years,  and  it  descended  to  his 
grandson,  Lord  Francis  Hope,  who  married  the 
actress,  May  Yohe,  who  wore  it.  He  became  a  bank- 
rupt, and  she  has  had  a  subsequent  career  of  vary- 
ing fortune.  Then  it  was  sold  in  London  to  a 
New  York  syndicate,  of  which  the  chief  members  got 
into  financial  difficulty,  and  they  sold  it  to  a  Russian 
prince,  for  a  price  said  to  be  $300,000,  in  1908,  and 
at  once  prosperity  returned  to  them.  The  Russian 
prince  loaned  it  to  a  Parisian  actress,  and  the  first 
night  she  wore  it  on  the  stage  he  shot  her  from  a  box. 
He  got  the  diamond  back  two  days  afterward,  and 
was  stabbed.  The  broker  who  arranged  this  Paris 
sale  killed  himself,  and  the  gem  went  to  a  Greek  jew- 
eler, who  sold  it  to  Abdul  Hamid.  The  Greek,  with 
his  wife  and  children,  fell  over  a  precipice  and  were 


252  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

killed.  Abdul  Hamid  lost  his  throne;  his  favorite 
Zubayha,  who  was  wearing  it  when  the  Young  Turks 
captured  the  palace,  was  shot  dead,  and  the  keeper  of 
the  vault  where  it  was  locked  up  and  the  eunuch  in 
charge  were  both  strangled.  Abdul  sold  it  to  Selim 
Habib,  and  he  was  drowned  in  a  shipwreck  near  Sin- 
gapore. At  first  it  was  said  the  diamond  was  lost 
with  him,  but  it  afterward  appeared  in  Paris  at  an 
auction  sale  of  his  effects  in  June,  1909,  and  was  dis- 
posed of  for  $80,000.  It  remained  in  Paris  then, 
but  so  great  had  become  its  "  hoodoo  "  that  no  one 
seemed  willing  to  acknowledge  its  ownership. 

THE    SELAMLIK. 

Once  a  week  the  sultan  appears  in  public,  on  Fri- 
days, the  Moslem  Sabbath,  when  he  goes  to  worship 
in  the  mosque,  this  great  ceremonial  function  being 
known  as  the  Selamlik.  The  new  sultan,  Moham- 
med, at  his  first  Selamlik,  on  April  30,  went  to  the 
Agia  Sophia,  and  this  he  made  a  very  simple  per- 
formance, though  it  gave  the  public  their  first  good 
view  of  him.  He  rode  in  an  open  carriage,  standing 
up,  dressed  in  a  khaki  uniform,  and  accompanied  by 
a  half  dozen  household  officials.  He  appeared  as  a 
stout  gentleman  of  somewhat  advanced  age,  and  in 
sharp  contrast  with  his  darker  predecessors  for  cen- 
turies, has  blue  eyes  and  fair  hair,  also  being  beard- 
less, and  wearing  only  a  pointed  moustache.  He 
stepped  out  of  his  carriage  at  the  "  Sultan's  Door  " 


THE  SELAMLIK  253 

of  the  mosque,  upon  a  red  carpet,  which  was  laid 
from  the  street  into  the  building.  An  attendant 
priest,  in  a  black  robe,  immediately  cut  the  throats  of 
two  rams,  the  sacrificial  blood  flowing  almost  to  his 
feet,  as  he  passed.  He  prayed  with  the  Sheikh  ul 
Islam,  within  the  mosque,  for  nearly  an  hour,  but 
few  others  being  admitted.  Then  he  withdrew,  and 
drove  back  to  the  palace,  the  streets  lined  by  the  ac- 
claiming populace,  while  the  foreign  embassies  were 
fully  represented  in  pavilions  erected  for  their  ac- 
commodation. 

The  simplicity  of  Mohammed's  Selamliks  is  in 
sharp  contrast  with  the  pomp  that  was  shown  by 
Abdul  Hamid,  who  made  the  greatest  display  when 
he  went  to  mosque.  He  worshipped  in  the  Ham- 
idieh  Mosque,  near  the  Yildiz  Kiosk,  and  he  rarely 
went  outside  the  park  at  any  other  time.  A  large 
concourse  of  people,  including  the  foreign  visitors 
then  in  Constantinople,  generally  gathered  to  witness 
the  pageant,  which  was  the  most  important  function 
of  the  time,  and  is  well  described  by  an  American 
tourist.  At  first  there  approach  various  street  clean- 
ers, who  furbish  up  the  highway,  and  from  a  dozen 
carts  clean  sand  is  sprinkled  upon  it.  Then  marched 
in,  from  different  directions,  large  detachments  of 
soldiers,  of  all  races,  there  being  several  thousands 
of  them,  both  cavalry  and  infantry,  with  numerous 
bands  of  music.  The  sultan's  banner  is  brought,  a 
flag  of  black  silk,  having  texts  from  the  Koran  in- 


254  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

scribed  upon  it  in  silver  embroidery.  The  soldiers 
completely  surround  the  mosque,  and  line  both  sides 
of  the  broad  avenue  leading  to  it  from  the  palace  gate, 
preventing  anyone  getting  through  the  splendid  cor- 
don of  guards.  All  being  in  readiness  at  noon,  the 
black-robed  muezzin  appears  on  the  gallery,  which 
is  at  the  top  of  the  tall  minaret  of  the  mosque,  and 
makes  his  loud  and  echoing,  sonorous  wailing  call  to 
prayer.  The  legend  is,  that  when  the  Mohammedans 
first  held  their  religious  meetings,  in  Arabia,  there 
was  trouble  found  in  summoning  the  people,  and  it 
was  proposed  to  ring  a  bell  like  the  Christians,  or 
sound  a  trumpet  as  the  Hebrews  did,  but  the  prophet 
Omar  II,  successor  of  Mohammed,  would  have 
none  of  this,  and  said :  "  What !  is  there  not 
a  man  among  you  who  can  call  to  prayer  ?  "  adding 
"  Oh,  Billal !  stand  and  make  the  call  to  prayer." 
Thus  was  appointed  the  first  muezzin,  and  since  then 
the  muezzins  have  faithfully  called  to  prayer,  five 
times  daily,  from  the  graceful  minarets  rising  above 
the  tops  of  the  houses,  so  that  their  voices  may  ring 
out  over  the  city,  and  each  time,  from  the  four  sides 
of  the  minaret,  they  have  repeated  their  loud  and 
solemn  call  to  the  four  winds  of  Heaven. 

The  muezzin's  prayer  call  to  the  sultan  being  an- 
swered by  a  trumpet  from  the  palace,  the  bands  cease 
playing  and  the  soldiers  stand  at  attention.  Then 
the  palace  gate  opened,  and  there  emerged  carriages 
containing  the  sultan's  wives  and  ladies  of  the  court, 


Cemetery  of  Eyub  and  View  of  the  Golden  Horn. 


THE  SELAML1K  255 

closely  veiled  and  guarded  by  black  eunuchs  on  horse- 
back, while  a  long  line  of  high  officials,  in  handsome 
uniforms,  marched  out,  preceded  by  musicians,  and 
followed  by  Abdul  Hamid,  in  a  superb  carriage. 
The  officers  saluted,  and  the  troops  and  populace 
cheered,  the  sultan  bowing  and  smiling.  He  wore 
ordinary  clothing  and  a  red  fez,  and  arriving  at  the 
mosque,  entered  alone,  remaining  there  at  prayer 
with  the  Imaum,  or  priest,  as  his  sole  companion,  for 
about  a  half  hour.  Coming  out,  he  drove  back  to  the 
palace  in  a  phaeton,  himself  handling  the  lines  of  a 
spirited  pair  of  beautiful  horses,  managing  them 
cleverly,  the  guards  and  other  officials  hastening  after, 
along  the  avenue  to  the  palace  gate.  Then  the 
soldiers  executed  various  manoeuvres,  returned  to 
their  barracks,  and  the  pageant  was  over.  The  great 
care  in  guarding  him  was  necessary,  for  not  long  ago 
a  carriage  was  got  into  the  waiting  line,  at  the  edge 
of  the  avenue,  from  which  a  bomb  was  exploded  just 
as  the  sultan  came  abreast  of  it,  and,  while  he  was 
unhurt,  many  of  those  who  were  near  him  were  killed 
or  injured.  Were  it  not  for  the  strict  injunction 
of  the  Koran,  that  the  faithful  must  pray  within  a 
mosque  at  least  once  a  week,  this  spectacular  survival 
of  the  ancient  pomp  of  the  oriental  court  might  have 
been  abandoned. 

One  of  the  prominent  features  of  Constantinople  is 
its  cemeteries.  For  at  least  twenty-six  centuries  the 
city  has  existed,  and  its  dead,  numbered  by  many 


256  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

millions,  are  interred  in  large  enclosures,  of  which 
the  distinguishing  feature  are  the  groves  of  sombre 
cypress  trees.  They  grow  very  tall  and  slender,  be- 
ing shaped  like  a  plume.  In  the  spring  their  foliage 
seems  almost  black,  contrasting  drearily  with  the 
bright  colors  of  the  flower  gardens  and  terraces.  The 
odor  of  the  evergreen  and  its  resinous  sap  destroys 
the  miasma  of  the  graveyards.  The  graves  extend 
for  miles  outside  the  city  walls,  and  there  are  also 
many  enclosures  inside,  where  the  dense  cypress  al- 
ways protects  ancient  burial  places.  Among  the 
brighter  villas  adorning  the  attractive  shores  of  the 
Bosporus  the  groves  of  these  mourning  trees  tell  of 
the  dead.  The  usual  Turkish  gravestone  is  narrow 
at  the  base,  and  generally  top  heavy,  so  that  it  often 
falls.  These  overturned  slabs  make  many  seats,  in 
the  cemeteries,  that  are  used  extensively  as  pleasure 
grounds.  These  stones  also  help  build  walls,  and  old 
ones  are  broken  into  fragments  to  put  on  the  roads. 
The  Moslem  idea  is  opposed  to  mourning  for  the 
dead,  and  hence  the  survivors  have  that  air  of  resig- 
nation to  fate  which  the  prophet  taught  was  the  key 
to  happiness.  They  believe  that  the  children  of  over- 
mourning  parents  are  driven  out  of  Paradise  and 
doomed  to  wander  weeping  through  space,  in  misery 
and  darkness,  as  their  relations  may  weep  on  the 
earth.  Hence  they  may  sprinkle  sweet  herbs  on  the 
graves  in  remembrance,  but  they  do  not  mourn,  and 
the  women  and  children  frequent  the  cemeteries 


THE  SELAMLIK  257 

rather  as  a  picnic  ground.  Amid  roses  and  perfume, 
the  pious  Moslem  in  the  graveyard  rather  than 
mourn  for  the  dead  will  tell  over  his  rosary  beads  of 
amber,  and  confidently  speak  the  ninety-nine  beauti- 
ful names  of  Allah.  He  thinks  not  so  much  of  the 
dead  as  of  the  cool  palm  groves  of  Paradise,  the  soft 
arms  and  white  hands  of  the  houris  beckoning  him 
thither,  where  he  will  recline  on  green  verdure  and 
drink  from  the  happy  river  of  sparkling  waters  at 
the  foot  of  the  great  white  throne. 

The  ordinary  grave  often  has  stones  both  at  head 
and  foot,  the  popular  idea  being  that  an  angel  guards 
each.  A  carved  fez  or  turban  surmounts  them,  and 
for  the  handicraftsman  and  toiler  there  is  generally 
some  sign  or  tool  of  his  calling.  Almost  every  stone 
has  a  little  hollow  place  to  hold  water  for  the  doves, 
that  they  may  come  and  rest  as  an  omen  of  peace. 
There  are  many  elaborate  monuments,  and  almost 
all  the  gravestones  have  some  epitaph.  A  tall  col- 
umn, surmounted  by  a  turban,  in  an  enclosure,  hav- 
ing around  it  lesser  columns,  represents  some  high 
official  or  dignitary,  in  the  midst  of  his  family. 
Stately  mausoleums  cover  the  tombs  of  sultans  and 
members  of  the  royal  houses.  In  a  splendid  temple, 
adjoining  his  mosque,  reposes  the  Sultan  Mohammed 
II,  a  rich  structure  of  Greek  and  Italian  architecture, 
its  interior  decorated  with  brilliant  tiling,  blue  and 
white  arabesques,  and  golden  texts  from  the  Koran. 

Elaborate   mosaics   form   the   floor,   with   rich   rugs 
VOL.  11—17 


258  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

partly  covering  them.  The  raised  bier  faces  Mecca, 
and  is  draped  with  bright  Persian  shawls.  Ostrich 
eggs  swing  from  gilded  ropes,  lustres  hang  from  the 
ceiling,  and  tall  candles  rise  from  high  silver  candle- 
sticks, the  emblems  of  death  and  of  the  undying  life 
hereafter.  Upon  the  elevated  plain,  beyond  Eyoub, 
is  the  vast  cemetery,  where  originally  was  the  Roman 
military  camp,  and  where  ever  since  the  Turkish 
soldiers  have  been  buried.  Their  memorials  tell  how 
they  died,  martyrs  for  their  faith,  their  brave  scimi- 
tars opening  the  doors  of  Paradise.  Many  of  their 
gravestones,  however,  are  broken  at  the  tops,  the 
surmounting  turbans  having  been  carried  off,  a  mark 
of  dishonor  imposed  on  the  Janizaries,  after  their 
downfall.  Over  all  rise  the  groves  of~ cypress,  and 
here,  as  everywhere  throughout  the  city,  along  the 
shores  of  the  Golden  Horn  and  the  Bosporus,  this 
sombre  and  ghostly  tree  deeply  shadows  the  scene, 
producing  in  the  visitor  one  of  the  most  impressive 
memories  of  Constantinople. 

Flowers  fade,  leaves  wither, 

But  the  constant  cypress  is  green  forever. 


PALESTINE  AND  SYRIA 


todfiT  injjoM 


Mount  Tabor. 


XII 
PALESTINE  AND  SYRIA 

Jaffa — Plain  of  Sharon — Syria — Csesarea — Herod  the  Great — 
Dor — Athlik — Mount  Carmel — the  Kishon — Ahab  and  Jeze- 
bel— Mar  Elias — Elijah — Ahaziah — Elisha — Haifa — Acre — 
Esdraelon — Its  Battles — Gilboa — Mount  Tabor — Jenin — 
Jezreel — Shunem — Little  Hermon — Nain — Endor — Nazareth 
— the  Annunciation — Phoenicia — Baal  and  Astarte — Venus 
and  Adonis — Tyre — Kalat  Kara — Sarafand — the  Litani — 
Sidon — Belfort — Beyrout — St.  George — the  Sannin — Apheca 
— Byblos — Botrys — Tripoli — the  Dervishes — the  Kadisha — 
Cedars  of  Lebanon — the  Eleutheros — Aradus — Tortosa — 
Baniyas — El  Merkab — Gabala — Laodicea — Posidium — Mount 
Casius — Seleucus  Nicator — Seleucia  Pieria — ^Jebel  Musa  — 
Alexandretta — Lake  of  Antioch — Sam'al — the  Kalat  Simon 
—  St.  Simeon  Stylites  —  Aleppo  —  Eski  Haleb  —  Antioch  — 
Daphne — The  Orontes — Coele-Syria — Esh  Shughr — Apamea 
— Larisa — Hama — Horns — Kadesh — Riblah — the  Maronites 
— Baalbek — Berzeh — Tadmur — Palmyra — Zenobia — the  Syr- 
ian Desert — the  Bedouins. 

JOPPA. 

Oldest  of  cities!     Sidon  of  the  North, 
And  Kirjath-Arba  of  the  rocky  South, 
And  Egypt's  Zoan  cannot  equal  thee. 
Andromeda  and  Perseus,  if  the  lay 
Of  classic  fable  speak  the  truth,  were  here; 
Monarch s  of  Palestine,  and  kings  of  Tyre, 
And  the  brave  Maccabee  have  all  been  here. 
And  Cestius,  with  his  Roman  plunderers, 

261 


262  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

And  Saladin,  and  Baldwin,  and  the  host 
Of  fierce  crusaders  from  the  British  North, 
Once  shook  their  swords  above  thee,  and  thy  blood 
Flowed  down  like  water  to  thine  ancient  sea. 

Thus  the  poet  depicts  the  ancient  Joppa  of  the 
Greeks  and  the  Bible,  the  Hebrew  Yapha,  or  the 
"  Tower  of  Delight,"  now  known  as  Jaffa,  the  sea- 
port where,  for  many  centuries,  the  visitor  has  usu- 
ally landed  in  Palestine.  Far  over  the  sea,  on  the 
approach,  its  noble  background,  the  mountain  line 
of  Judea,  looms  up,  and  turns  in  color  from  blue  to 
green  as  the  ship  comes  nearer,  and  then  the  strange 
rocky  environment  of  the  famous  port,  with  its 
orange  groves  and  luxuriant  foliage,  develops  above 
a  long  strip  of  peculiarly  yellow  sand,  making  the 
sea  beach,  behind  which  are  the  buildings.  The  ship 
anchors  outside  the  little  rock-bound  harbor,  and  a 
fleet  of  small  craft,  manned  by  fiercely  shouting  boat- 
men, in  bare  legs  and  fezzes  and  generally  comic 
opera  attire,  come  forth  to  capture  the  passengers 
and  their  baggage.  With  pretentious  noise  and  bus- 
tle, these  are  got  into  the  boats,  and  then,  buffeted  by 
the  waves,  pass  through  the  rocks,  enclosing  a  narrow 
entrance  of  barely  one  hundred  feet  width,  to  the 
smooth  water  inside.  But  the  depth  shallows  to- 
ward the  landing,  and  the  passenger  usually  finishes 
the  perilous  journey  on  the  back  of  a  wild-eyed,  bare- 
legged bandit,  anxious  for  "  backsheesh,"  who  puts 
the  visitor's  feet  on  the  landing  steps  and  vigorously 


JOPPA  263 

pushes  him  up.     Thus  the  modern  voyager  enters  the 
long  sought  "  Promised  Land." 

The  older  Joppa  spreads  along  the  brow  of  a  rock 
over  a  hundred  feet  high,  and  also  down  its  slopes, 
and  has  a  maze  of  narrow,  winding  alleys,  generally 
very  dirty.  The  houses  are  built  usually  of  tufa- 
stone,  and  apparently  are  windowless,  as  these  open 
on  the  inner  courts.  There  are  no  sidewalks  nor 
pavements,  and  the  visitor  goes  about  on  a  donkey, 
unless  he  walks.  There  are  newer  quarters  of  mod- 
ern construction  all  around  the  older  town,  and  these 
are  more  attractive,  with  an  environment  of  farms, 
orange  and  olive  groves,  fruit  gardens,  and  vineyards, 
throughout  the  suburbs.  Three  great  highways  go 
out  of  the  town  that  have  existed  for  thousands  of 
years,  all  starting  from  a  little  Public  Garden  —  one 
leading  southeast  to  Jerusalem,  another  northeast  to 
Nabulus,  and  the  third  south  to  Gaza.  On  the  north- 
eastern verge,  and  more  than  a  mile  from  the  harbor, 
is  the  modest  station  of  the  railway  to  Jerusalem, 
that  at  first  goes  out  northeast,  and  then  curves 
around  to  the  southeast,  as  it  mounts  the  hill  slope. 
This  railroad  station  is  one  of  the  structures  of  which 
Joppa  is  very  proud,  the  line,  which  was  the  first  rail- 
road in  the  Holy  Land,  having  been  opened  in  1892, 
with  imposing  ceremonies,  conducted  by  the  sultan's 
special  envoy  and  the  governor  of  Jerusalem. 
Joppa  was  a  slow  and  rather  repulsive  town,  in  a 
splendid  situation,  until  recently.  Its  population 


THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

was  barely  ten  thousand,  but  the  influx  of  pilgrims 
and  the  growing  trade  of  later  years  have  increased 
it  to  about  forty  thousand,  mostly  Moslems,  but  in- 
cluding many  Christians  and  Jews.  In  some  sea- 
sons it  will  have  thirty  thousand  visitors  and  pil- 
grims to  Jerusalem  passing  through.  There  are  few 
wheeled  vehicles  in  the  place,  the  methods  of  trans- 
portation being  by  camel,  donkey  and  the  gangs  of 
brawny  porters,  who  carry  baggage  and  merchandise, 
a  half  dozen  often  joining  in  transporting  a  large 
cask.  There  is  an  oversupply  of  homeless  dogs,  as 
in  Constantinople  and  other  Turkish  towns,  for  they 
are  the  only  scavengers.  Joppa  has  not  much  to 
show.  The  chief  mosque  is  of  scant  interest,  and  the 
Arab  bazaar,  adjoining  the  Public  Garden,  gives  the 
usual  exhibition  of  oriental  trafficking.  On  the 
road  to  Nabulus  are  the  barracks,  and  the  government 
buildings,  or  serai.  The  colony  and  school  of  the 
sect  known  as  the  "  German  Temple  "  are  located 
at  Sarona,  farther  out  that  road,  it  having  about 
twelve  hundred  members  and  being  in  very  flourish- 
ing condition.  This  sect  has  four  colonies,  and  has 
taken  advantage  of  the  rich  soils  of  the  "  Plain,  of 
Sharon  "  which  gives  Joppa  such  an  attractive  en- 
vironment of  blooming  fertility. 

When  Joppa  began  is  unknown,  but  it  was  a  set- 
tlement in  the  land  of  the  Philistines,  which  adjoins 
the  coast  of  southern  Palestine,  and  at  the  dawn  of 
history  was  a  Phoenician  colony.  The  mythological 


JOPPA  265 

Joppa  was  the  daughter  of  ^Eolus,  and  her  husband 
Avas  Cepheus.  Their  attractive  daughter  Androm- 
eda was  chained  to  the  rocks  at  the  harbor,  to  ap- 
pease the  envious  Xereiads,  the  sea  nymphs,  so  that 
she  might  be  devoured  by  a  sea  monster,  and  this 
catastrophe  would  have  happened  had  she  not  been 
most  opportunely  released  by  the  gallant  Perseus, 
who  married  her,  and  the  place  was  named  in  honor 
of  her  mother.  Andromeda  after  death  was  trans- 
lated to  Heaven,  and  changed  into  the  brilliant  con- 
stellation which  bears  her  name  and  is  adjacent  to 
the  constellation  Perseus.  Throughout  the  long 
period  of  Roman  domination,  according  to  Pliny,  and 
in  subsequent  centuries,  the  marks  of  the  chains  were 
shown  by  which  Andromeda  was  bound,  and  there 
were  also  huge  bones  of  a  gigantic  marine  dragon, 
forty  feet  long,  and  these  were  taken  by  Pompey  to 
Rome.  It  was  to  Joppa  that  the  prophet  Jonah 
came,  to  go  aboard  the  ship  for  Tarshish,  which  had 
so  much  storm  buffeting,  until  he  was  cast  out  by  the 
crew  and  swallowed  by  the  whale,  and  this  led  some 
of  the  early  Christians  to  infer  that  the  large  bones 
might  have  belonged  to  Jonah's  whale.  In  the  most 
ancient  traditions  Joppa  is  described  as  existing  be- 
fore the  deluge.  When  the  Israelites  arrived,  they 
found  it  a  prosperous  place,  and  Joshua  gave  it  to 
the  tribe  of  Dan.  The  Egyptians  early  dominated 
it,  and  Joppa  was  one  of  the  Syrian  towns  captured 
by  Thotmes  III,  as  inscribed  on  the  pylons  at 


266  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Karnak.  Then  the  people  worshipped  the  goddess 
Keto,  a  mermaid,  having  a  woman's  head  and  bust 
and  a  fish's  tail.  Joppa  was  the  port  of  Jerusalem, 
and  to  it  Hiram,  King  of  Tyre,  a  city  on  the  coast 
to  the  northward,  sent  his  fleets,  with  timber  for 
building  Solomon's  Temple,  while  five  centuries  later 
the  cedars  of  Lebanon  were  brought  for  the  building 
of  Zerubbabel's  second  temple.  Then  Joppa  was 
given  to  Tyre  and  Sidon,  but  in  the  second  century 
B.  C.  it  was  brought  again  under  Jewish  control  by 
the  Maccabees.  Pompey  subsequently  held  it  for 
Rome ;  then  Caesar  restored  it  to  the  Jews,  and  Herod 
the  Great  was  made  king. 

When  Jonah  sailed  from  Joppa  is  unknown,  but 
Jesus  said  that  the  sign  of  Jonah  was  the  sign  for  the 
people  of  his  own  time,  for  Matthew  records  his 
words :  "  As  Jonah  was  three  days  and  three  nights 
in  the  whale's  belly,  so  shall  the  Son  of  Man  be  three 
days  and  three  nights  in  the  heart  of  the  earth."  It 
was  an  early  seat  of  Christianity,  and  is  repeatedly 
referred  to  in  the  New  Testament.  St.  Peter  had 
come  from  Jerusalem  to  Lydda,  about  twelve  miles 
from  Joppa,  and  there  lived  Eneas,  who  had  kept  his 
bed  eight  years  of  palsy,  and  Peter  cured  him.  The 
fame  of  this  miracle  spread  throughout  the  country, 
and  led  to  the  invitation  to  Peter  to  visit  Joppa. 
Here  lived  the  gentle  and  most  charitable  Tabitha, 
which  by  interpretation  was  called  Dorcas,  her  home 
being  in  one  of  the  pleasant  gardens  on  the  outskirts 


JOPPA  267 

of  the  town,  near  the  Jerusalem  road.  She  died, 
and  they  laid  her  in  an  upper  chamber,  sending  in 
haste  for  Peter,  who  came  and  saw  her  "  and  all  the 
widows  stood  by  him  Aveeping,  and  showing  the  coats 
and  garments  which  Dorcas  made  while  she  was  with 
them."  He  raised  her  from  the  dead,  and  this  sec- 
ond miracle  established  the  Christian  religion  in  Jop- 
pa.  Peter  "  tarried  many  days  in  Joppa  with  one 
Simon,  a  tanner,  whose  house  was  by  the  seaside." 
It  was  on  the  roof  of  this  house  that  the  Apostle  had 
his  famous  vision  of  the  sheet  let  down  from  Heaven 
containing  all  manner  of  beasts  clean  and  unclean. 
Down  near  the  lighthouse,  in  the  southern  part  of  the 
town,  is  the  site  of  this  house,  now  occupied  by  the 
small  Mosque  of  the  Bastion,  which  gives  an  elegant 
view  over  the  sea.  The  fame  of  Peter's  miracles  led 
to  his  being  summoned  to  CaBsarea,  then  the  capital, 
by  Cornelius,  the  centurion,  who  was  stationed  there, 
to  preach  the  Gospel  to  him,  this  being  the  first  re- 
corded preaching  of  the  Gospel  by  Jewish  Christians 
to  Gentiles.  The  Romans  captured  Joppa  after- 
ward, and  Cestius  destroyed  it.  Then  it  became  a 
haunt  of  pirates,  and  was  again  sacked  by  Vespasian. 
It  was  generally  afterward  held  by  the  Christians, 
having  a  succession  of  bishops,  when  the  Arab  in- 
vasion came,  and  they  controlled  until  the  Crusades. 
The  Knights  of  St.  John  held  it,  in  the  twelfth  cen- 
tury, until  Saladin's  brother  captured  it  1187,  and  it 
was  ultimately  held  by  Moslems  and  Christians  until 


THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

destroyed  in  1257.  In  the  middle  ages  it  was  deca- 
dent, but  revived  in  the  eighteenth  century,  and  Na- 
poleon's troops  captured  it  in  1799.  The  English 
soon  afterward  got  it,  and  built  strong  fortifications, 
since  which  time  it  has  been  under  Turkish  rule,  al- 
though the  walls  have  fallen  in  decay.  Inland  from 
Joppa  is  the  luxuriantly  fertile  Plain  of  Sharon, 
brilliant  in  springtime  with  the  vivid  "  red  rose  of 
Sharon,"  which  is  a  large  anemone. 

C^SAREA    AND    MOUNT    CARMEL. 

Joppa  is  one  of  the  chief  ports  of  entrance  to 
Syria,  this  name  being  derived  from  the  Babylonian 
Sum,  with  which  the  ancient  Assyria  was  closely  re- 
lated. The  title  is  traced  as  early  as  thirty  cen- 
turies before  Christ,  in  application  to  the  territory 
between  Media  and  Babylonia  and  the  Mediterra- 
nean. The  Arabs  call  Syria  Esli-Sliam,  the  country 
to  the  "  left  "  of  Arabia,  and  the  Turkish  name  is 
Suristan.  The  earliest  wave  of  migration  to  these 
shores  was  by  the  Canaanites  and  Amorites,  of 
whom  the  Phoenicians  were  a  type,  while  other  Se- 
mitic races,  the  Israelites  and  Moabites,  appeared  in- 
land adjacent  to  the  Jordan  valley,  though  the  Phil- 
istines, on  the  southern  Palestine  coast,  were  not 
Semitic.  Syria  extends  about  three  hundred  and 
eighty  miles  along  the  eastern  coast  of  the  Mediterra- 
nean, and  from  time  immemorial  this  land  between 
Egypt  and  the  Euphrates  has  been  a  battlefield  of 


CLESAREA  AND  MOUNT  CARMEL  269 

the  great  powers  of  western  Asia  on  the  one  hand, 
against  those  of  Europe,  Egypt  and  Africa  on  the 
other.  It  has  been  also  a  territory,  which  the  trad- 
ing caravans  of  these  vdrious  nations  had  to  traverse, 
and  consequently  its  place  in  history  has  been  of  the 
highest  interest.  The  country  is  marked  by  moun- 
tain ranges,  stretching  from  north  to  south  in  parallel 
ridges,  connecting  the  Taurus  of  Cilicia,  in  Asia 
Minor,  with  the  Eed  Sea  ranges,  various  summits 
rising  to  a  conspicuous  height,  two  in  the  Lebanon 
exceeding  10,000  feet.  The  mountains  are  mostly 
of  limestone,  but  there  are  giant  peaks  of  basalt,  es- 
pecially in  the  Hauran  district,  and  this  basalt,  when 
decomposed,  makes  rich  soils.  There  flow  out  nu- 
merous rivers,  the  chief  being  the  Orontes,  falling  into 
the  sea  near  ancient  Seleucia ;  the  Litani  rising 
closely  to  the  former,  but  flowing  farther  southward, 
and  emptying  near  Tyre;  and  the  Jordan,  entirely 
inland,  the  great  river  of  southern  Syria.  Like  the 
Jordan,  most  of  the  other  streams  rising  on  the 
eastern  side  of  the  Syrian  watershed  terminate  in 
inland  lakes.  The  Mediterranean  shore  is  a  mari- 
time plain,  narrow  to  the  northward  of  Tyre,  and 
broadening  as  it  extends  toward  the  south.  In  the 
neighborhood  of  Joppa,  and  for  some  distance,  both 
south  and  north,  it  is  about  six  to  eight  miles  wide, 
and  is  known  as  the  "  Plain  of  Sharon."  South  of 
this  the  maritime  plain  is  the  land  of  the  Philistines, 
embracing  a  wider  surface,  and  gradually  developing 


270  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

into  the  wilderness  of  Shur.  Inland  is  a  mountain 
range,  a  prolongation  of  the  Lebanon,  draining  west- 
ward into  the  Mediterranean  and  eastward  into  the 
Jordan.  The  Jordan  valley  is  very  deep,  culmi- 
nating in  the  Dead  Sea,  to  which  the  Jordan  falls 
2,500  feet  in  its  course,  the  surface  of  this  remark- 
able sea  being  1,300  feet  lower  than  the  Mediterra- 
nean, and  its  depth  of  water  in  some  places  is  also 
1,300  feet.  Eastward  of  the  Jordan  is  a  mountain 
range  and  plateau,  being  the  prolongation  of  the 
Anti-Lebanon  ridge,  a  land  of  fertility,  which  fades 
off  into  the  almost  unexplored  region  farther  east- 
ward. 

Joppa  is  on  the  southern  verge  of  ancient  Phoeni- 
cia, and  the  coast  to  the  northward,  for  a  considerable 
distance,  has  no  harbor,  being  for  miles  rock- 
bound,  and  having  the  fertile  Plain  of  Sharon  ex- 
tending back  from  the  elevated  shore.  The  ISTahr-el- 
Auja,  a  river  of  copious  flow,  comes  out  through  the 
rocks,  a  short  distance  above  Joppa.  Thirty-five 
miles  north  of  Joppa,  at  Kaisariyeh,  are  the  ruins  of 
ancient  Caesarea,  which  was  the  Roman  capital, 
founded  by  Herod  the  Great.  This  famous  king  of 
the  Jews  was  the  son  of  Antipater,  who  had  been  an 
ally  of  Julius  Ca?sar,  and  Herod,  finding  favor  with 
Augustus,  reigned  from  the  year  40  to  4  B.  C.,  Christ 
being  born  in  the  year  that  Herod  died.  He  was  an 
enterprising  but  cruel  monarch,  and  his  final  infamy 
was  the  massacre  of  the  children  at  Bethlehem. 


(LESAREA  AND  MOUNT  CARMEL  271 

Herod  wanted  to  get  a  safe  harbor  on  the  coast,  as  he 
had  no  means  of  removing  the  rocks  at  Joppa,  and 
improving  that  place,  so  he  established  at  Strato's 
Tower,  then  an  obscure  village,  his  beautiful  capital 
and  port,  making  an  artificial  harbor  with  great  labor 
and  cost,  as  the  materials  had  to  be  brought  from 
afar.  He  built  a  long  mole  two  hundred  feet  wide, 
and  composed  of  huge  stone  blocks  mostly  fifty  feet 
long.  This  gave  protection  from  the  south  winds, 
and  was  curved  around  so  as  to  make  the  harbor  en- 
trance from  the  northward.  Upon  it  were  various 
towers,  the  chief  of  these  being  named  for  Drusus, 
the  son-in-law  of  Caesar.  Stately  edifices  and  a  tem- 
ple, visible  far  out  at  sea,  surrounded  this  artificial 
harbor,  and  its  security  attracted  a  large  trade,  which 
in  the  course  of  a  few  years  made  Caasarea,  thus 
named  in  honor  of  Caesar,  the  most  noted  port  of  the 
eastern  Mediterranean,  and  the  chief  city  of  Pales- 
tine. 

Caasarea  is  frequently  referred  to  in  the  New  Tes- 
tament. To  it  came  St.  Philip  to  preach,  and  he 
lived  here  many  years.  The  centurion  Cornelius 
summoned  Peter  hither,  and  he  preached  and  made 
the  first  Gentile  baptism.  St.  Paul  was  at  Csesarea, 
and  was  held  a  prisoner  for  two  years,  appearing  be- 
fore Felix  and  Festus,  whom  he  "  almost  persuaded 
to  be  a  Christian."  St.  Paul  was  sent  a  prisoner 
from  Csesarea  to  Rome,  there  to  preach  the  Gospel. 
It  was  in  the  vast  theatre,  built  by  Herod  the  Great, 


272  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

which  faced  the  sea,  that  his  royal  grandson,  Herod 
Agrippa,  permitted  himself  to  be  hailed  as  a  god, 
thus  bringing  vengeance  from  Heaven.  A  deputa- 
tion had  come  to  him  from  Tyre  and  Sidon,  suing  for 
peace.  Herod  Agrippa  proceeded,  early  in  the 
morning,  to  the  theatre,  to  receive  them,  seating  him- 
self on  the  throne,  dressed  in  a  robe  of  silver  tissue, 
which  reflected  the  bright  rays  of  the  -rising  sun  with 
such  lustre  as  to  dazzle  the  spectators.  When  the 
king  made  his  address  to  the  deputation,  the  crowd 
shouted  that  it  was  not  the  voice  of  a  man  but  of  a 
god.  The  vain  king  accepted  this  tribute,  but  look- 
ing upward,  he  saw,  with  superstitious  alarm,  an 
owl  perched  over  his  head.  He  had  been  forewarned 
that  if  he  saw  this  owl,  his  death  would  follow  in  the 
space  of  five  days.  He  left  in  terror,  and  the  Scrip- 
ture says  "  the  angel  of  the  Lord  smote  him,"  The 
Acts  recording  that  after  excruciating  torments  "  he 
was  eaten  of  worms,  and  gave  up  the  ghost."  This 
was  in  the  year  44  of  the  Christian  era.  Herod 
Agrippa  II,  who  was  the  last  monarch  of  the  family 
of  Herod  the  Great,  was  the  king  before  whom  St. 
Paul  pleaded,  when  he  appealed  to  Rome,  and  was 
sent  there  a  prisoner.  Csesarea  was  early  recognized 
as  a  leading  Christian  city,  having  the  famous 
Origen  as  a  teacher  and  Eusebius  as  bishop.  The 
Moslems  took  it  after  a  seven  years'  siege,  and  it  was 
captured  by  Baldwin,  during  the  Crusades,  when  it 
was  still  a  city  of  importance.  He  secured  a  rich 


(LESAREA  AND  MOUNT  CARMEL  273 

booty,  including  the  prized  bowl  of  green  crystal, 
which  was  said  to  have  been  used  at  the  last  supper 
and  in  the  medieval  minstrelsy  was  hailed  as  the 
"  holy  grail."  The  Sultan  Beibars  destroyed  Csesa- 
rea  in  the  thirteenth  century,  and  it  is  now  only  a 
desolate  ruin,  most  of  the  materials  having  been  car- 
ried off  for  building  purposes  to  Acre  and  other 
towns.  A  little  way  northward  the  Nahr-ez-Zerka, 
or  "  blue  river,"  flows  out  to  the  coast,  an  aqueduct, 
higher  up,  conveying  its  waters  to  Csesarea.  This 
stream  was  called  by  Pliny  the  Crocodile  river,  as 
they  abounded  in  it,  and  were  still  seen  there  in  re- 
cent years.  Farther  north  is  the  village  of  Tautura, 
on  the  site  of  the  Phrenician  town  of  Dor,  which  is 
mentioned  in  the  books  of  Joshua  and  the  Judges. 
Here  the  ancient  people  found  the  murex,  the  noted 
purple  shellfish,  which  provided  the  prized  Tyrian 
purple  dye.  The  place  became  a  ruin  long  ago. 
Farther  on  is  Athlit,  the  Crusaders'  stronghold,  built 
on  a  mountain  spur  protruding  between  two  small 
bays,  which  was  their  renowned  "  Castle  of  the  Pil- 
grims." It  commanded  the  road  by  the  sea,  at  the 
foot  of  the  mountain  ridge,  having  here  the  narrow 
pass  through  the  cliffs,  known  as  Petra  Incisa,  or  the 
"  hewn-out  rock."  The  Saracens  captured  and 
destroyed  the  castle  in  the  thirteenth  century,  and 
much  of  its  building  material  has  been  taken  to  Acre. 
The  present  occupiers  of  all  these  ancient  places,  like 

their  ancestors,  still  find  them  profitable  quarries. 
VOL.  11—18 


274  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  long  ridge  of  Mount  Carmel  extends  from  the 
interior  toward  the  northwest,  and  its  terminating 
promontory,  rising  magnificently  from  the  sea,  juts 
out  north  of  Athlit  as  a  noble  bastion  seen  from  afar. 
This  is  one  of  the  most  impressive  of  the  Syrian 
mountain  ridges,  the  allusions  to  it  being  frequent  in 
the  Bible,  and  its  beauty  is  extolled  in  Isaiah  and  the 
Song  of  Solomon.  It  has  been  a  sacred  mountain  in 
the  history  of  Israel,  and  the  name  comes  from  its 
fertility,  meaning  "  the  vineyard  of  the  land."  It  is 
a  vast  rolling  parkland,  deeply  furrowed  externally 
by  numerous  ravines,  while  its  limestone  formation 
produces  countless  caves  within.  The  massive  ridge 
pushes  abruptly  into  the  sea,  as  a  grand  headland, 
rising  nearly  six  hundred  feet  from  the  water,  which 
surrounds  it  on  three  sides,  while  behind,  and  en- 
closed by  it,  is  the  spacious  Bay  of  Acre.  From  here 
the  ridge  extends  southeast  for  about  sixteen  miles, 
and  then  breaks  down  somewhat  precipitously  into 
the  lower  hills  of  Samaria.  The  highest  elevation  is 
near  the  southeastern  end,  beyond  Esfia,  rising  over 
eighteen  hundred  feet.  Upon  the  southwestern  side 
it  slopes  rather  gradually  toward  the  Plain  of  Shar- 
on, while  on  the  other  side  the  descent  is  steep  to  the 
noted  brook  Kishon,  which  flows  out  of  the  Plain  of 
Esdraelon  northwest,  along  the  mountain  base,  to  the 
Bay  of  Acre.  The  fertility  and  heavy  foliage 
growth  on  the  mountain  slopes,  aided  by  the  profuse 
dew  falling  every  night,  make  the  surface  a  delicious 


CLESAREA  AND  MOUNT  CARMEL  275 

green  throughout  the  year,  which  is  unusual  in  this 
country  of  protracted  droughts.  It  is  also  fragrant 
with  flowers,  but  whatever  might  have  been  the  pop- 
ulation and  cultivation  in  the  Bible  days,  Mount  Car- 
mel  is  now  largely  a  wilderness,  though  still  most 
beautiful. 

Carmel  was  the  "  Mount  of  God  "  from  the  ear- 
liest historical  period,  and  an  altar  to  Jehovah  ex- 
isted on  its  summit  before  contact  with  the  people  of 
Tyre  had  introduced  here  the  worship  of  their  pagan 
idol  Baal.  In  the  ninth  century  B.  C.  King  Ahab 
of  Israel  married  Jezebel,  the  daughter  of  King 
Ethbaal  of  Tyre,  and  under  her  influence  seized 
Naboth's  vineyard  for  a  garden  grove  for  Baal's  wor- 
ship, and  introduced  the  complete  Tyrian  idolatry, 
being  punished  for  the  idolatry  by  over  three  years  of 
famine.  The  prophet  Elijah,  who  had  long  de- 
nounced this  worship,  summoned  the  priests  of  Baal 
and  Astarte  to  a  test  on  Mount  Carmel.  The  priests 
in  vain  invoked  their  idols,  but  the  burnt  offering  of 
Elijah  was  licked  up  by  fire  descending  from  Heav- 
en, whereupon,  at  the  command  of  the  prophet,  the 
people  slew  the  priests.  Here  subsequently  came 
Elisha,  during  his  prophetic  career.  Pythagoras  vis- 
ited the  mountain,  and  Tacitus  tells  of  a  visit  by  Ves- 
pasian to  consult  the  "  God  of  Carmel,"  finding  here 
an  altar  without  a  temple  or  an  image.  In  the  early 
Christian  age  many  monks  made  their  homes  in  its 
caverns,  and  from  these  were  formed  the  monastic 


276  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

order  of  the  Carmelites,  originating  in  the  twelfth 
century,  and  in  subsequent  years  spreading  over  Eu- 
rope. Here  also  came  the  French  king  St.  Louis  on 
a  pilgrimage,  and  the  English  monk,  Simon  Stock  of 
Kent,  was  general  of  the  Carmelite  order,  and  after 
living  twenty  years  here  was  buried  on  the  moun- 
tain. The  Turks  made  the  monastic  church  a 
mosque.  Napoleon  used  it  as  a  hospital  when  he 
besieged  Acre,  and  it  was  burnt  by  the  Turks  in 
1821,  though  afterward  restored  to  the  monks  and 
rebuilt.  This  monastery  of  Mar  Elias  (the  Greek 
name  for  Elijah)  stands  at  560  feet  elevation  above 
the  sea,  upon  the  northwestern  extremity  of  the 
mountain,  the  church  having  a  conspicuous  dome. 
The  outlook  is  magnificent,  covering  the  sea  from 
Ca?sarea  northward  beyond  Tyre,  with  beautiful 
Acre  nestling  under  the  hills,  northeastward  across 
the  bay,  and  having  a  noble  background  of  distant 
mountains,  embracing  the  ranges  of  Lebanon  and 
Hermon  and  the  heights  beyond  the  Jordan.  Al- 
most at  one's  feet,  down  by  the  shore,  is  the  village  of 
Haifa,  nestling  in  its  luxuriant  bowers  of  palms  and 
olives. 

About  twenty  monks  reside  in  the  monastery,  and 
they  receive  all  visitors  hospitably,  having  good  ac- 
commodations for  pilgrims.     Below  the  high  altar  is 
a    cave,    where    Elijah    is    said    to    have    dwelt,  J 
and  farther  down  the  hillside    is  a  larger  cavern,  ' 
partly     artificial,     where,     according    to     tradition, 


CJESAREA  AND  MOUNT  CARMEL  277 

the  Holy  Family  slept  on  their  return  journey 
from  the  flight  into  Egypt.  The  mountain  pro- 
duces many  petrifactions,  and  melon-shaped 
clusters  of  crystals  known  as  geodes.  The  local 
explanation  is  that  these  were  fruits  petrified 
by  Elijah  for  a  breach  of  hospitality.  He  was  pass- 
ing a  large  garden,  and,  seeing  the  owner  gathering 
the  ripened  fruit,  asked  for  some  of  it  to  quench  his 
thirst.  The  owner  replied  that  it  was  not  fruit  he 
saw,  but  heaps  of  stones;  whereupon  Elijah  replied 
"  Be  it  so !  "  and  at  once  the  fruits  in  the  garden, 
whether  gathered  or  ungathered,  turned  to  stones. 
From  the  monastery,  all  the  way  to  Esfia,  the  ridge 
of  Carmel  is  almost  uninhabited.  Upon  the  summit, 
a  few  miles  from  the  convent,  is  El  Marrakah,  or  the 
"  place  of  the  burning,"  where  Elijah  had  his  meet- 
ing with  the  priests,  there  being  four  hundred  and 
fifty  of  them  who  worshipped  Baal,  and  four  hun- 
dred other  "  prophets  of  the  groves,"  or  priests  of 
Astarte.  The  Druses,  who  now  live  in  the  neigh- 
borhood, have  an  annual  sacrifice  here,  evidently  tra- 
ditionary from  the  time  of  Elijah.  A  small  chapel 
is  on  the  highest  part,  and  below  is  the  shapeless  ruin 
of  an  old  time  castle,  having  near  it  a  spring,  and  at 
this  place  there  continued  all  day  the  anxious  im- 
ploring of  the  army  of  priests  of  Baal  and  Astarte, 
that  their  gods  should  make  some  sign  which  would 
indicate  the  termination  of  the  protracted  drought 
that  during  over  three  years  had  afflicted  the  stub- 


278  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

born  King  Ahab  and  his  people.  These  pagans  im- 
plored in  vain,  and  the  weird  and  commanding  figure 
of  the  prophet  watched  and  worried  them,  until  they 
gave  up  in  despair.  Then  came  his  turn,  and,  an- 
swering his  prayer,  Jehovah  sent  down  the  fire  that 
licked  up  the  sacrifice,  the  stones  of  the  altar,  and 
all  the  water  in  the  surrounding  trench,  which  the 
spring  had  provided. 

From  this  commanding  height  there  is  spread  in 
full  view,  off  to  the  eastward  and  southeastward,  the 
wide  plain  of  Jezreel,  now  known  by  the  Greek  name 
of  Esdraelon,  with  its  distant  border  of  mountains, 
including  Tabor's  dome-like  summit,  beyond  Naza- 
reth, and  farther  south  in  the  valley  Ahab's  city  of 
Jezreel  and  palace  and  Jezebel's  temple  and  grove  of 
Baal.  At  the  base  of  Carmel,  in  its  deep  valley, 
flows  the  winding  brook  Kishon,  down  to  which  the 
avenging  prophet  drove  the  discomfited  priests,  and 
slew  them  there.  Then  Ahab,  at  Elijah's  bidding, 
ascended  to  the  mountain  top  again,  and  with  his  face 
upon  the  earth  Elijah  prayed  for  the  consummation 
of  the  miracle,  while  his  servant  was  sent  to  the  high- 
est point  of  all,  where  the  western  sea  was  in  full 
view,  but  the  sky  was  cloudless.  Seven  times  the 
servant  went  up  and  looked,  but  saw  nothing,  and 
the  prophet  still  prayed.  Then  the  servant  saw,  on 
the  far  horizon,  a  little  cloud  not  bigger  than  a  man's 
hand,  which  grew  apace,  and  soon  the  whole  horizon 
was  overcast.  The  winds  blew  and  the  rains  came. 


C^SAREA  AND  MOUNT  CARMEL  279 

Ahab  was  frightened,  and  descended  the  mountain 
side  with  the  prophet,  the  king  entering  his  chariot 
and  starting  off,  fearing  the  Kishon  would  swell  to 
a  torrent,  and  he  would  not  be  able  to  ford  it.  Away 
he  galloped  toward  Jezreel,  whereupon  Elijah  girt 
his  mantle  round  about  him,  and,  amid  the  rushing 
storm,  ran  before  the  king's  chariot,  all  the  way, 
about  eighteen  miles.  Ahab  seems  to  have  relented, 
but  Jezebel  was  implacable.  She  threatened  Eli- 
jah's life,  and  then  the  weird  prophet  made  his  flight 
to  Beersheba,  and  thence  far  into  the  Syrian  desert 
and  the  Sinai  peninsula,  ultimately  taking  refuge  in 
the  cave  upon  Horeb.  Here  the  voice  of  the  Lord 
again  called  him  to  duty,  and  vengeance  ultimately 
overtook  the  king,  and  afterward  the  queen.  Ahab 
fell  in  battle  beyond  the  Jordan,  while  several  years 
later,  Jehu,  the  avenger,  sent  by  Elijah  at  the  Lord's 
command,  slew  his  son  Ahaziah,  who  had  become  the 
king,  and  annihilated  all  Ahab's  house.  Ahaziah,  at 
his  mother's  behest,  had  still  persisted  in  idolatries, 
and,  meeting  with  a  misfortune,  he  sent  messengers  to 
consult  the  oracle  of  Beelzebub  at  Ekron.  Suddenly 
the  giant  figure  of  Elijah  appeared  in  their  path,  de- 
nounced the  idolatry,  and  commanded  them  to  go 
back  to  the  King  Ahaziah  and  announce  to  him  that 
for  the  appeal  to  the  idol  rather  than  to  the  God  of 
Israel  the  king  should  surely  die.  Elijah  had  re- 
tired to  the  summit  of  Mount  Carmel,  and  the  an- 
gered king  sent  a  captain  and  fifty  men  to  apprehend 


280  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

him.  The  captain  addressed  Elijah :  "  Thou  man 
of  God,  the  king  hath  bidden  thee  to  come  down." 
He  replied,  "  If  I  be  a  man  of  God,  let  fire  come 
down  from  Heaven  and  consume  thee  and  thy  com- 
pany." The  fire  came,  the  company  perished,  and 
also  another  fifty,  who  had  been  sent  after  them.  A 
third  fifty  also  went  to  Carmel,  but  their  captain  re- ' 
lented  and  humbly  implored  forgiveness,  whereupon 
Elijah  sent  Jehu,  the  avenger,  to  Jezreel,  who  slew 
Ahaziah  and  all  of  his  house,  the  servants  throwing 
Jezebel  out  of  the  palace  window,  whereupon  the 
horses  trod  her  to  death,  and  the  dogs  in  the  street 
devoured  her  body,  thus  fulfilling  Elijah's  prophecy. 
Elijah  was  translated  to  Heaven  in  a  chariot  of 
fire  amid  a  whirlwind.  He  had  been  the  prophet  of 
vengeance,  but  his  mantle  was  cast  upon  his  disciple 
and  successor,  the  gentler  Elisha,  who  for  about  sixty 
years  was  the  prophet  of  mercy  in  Israel.  He  too 
became  a  sojourner  on  Mount  Carmel.  The  good 
woman  of  Shunem,  in  the  Plain  of  Esdraelon,  had 
befriended  him,  and  she  was  childless.  Elisha  con- 
ferred the  boon  of  motherhood  upon  her,  and  her  boy 
grew,  but  ultimately  sickened  and  died,  and  in  her 
despair  she  sought  the  prophet  on  the  mountain  top.' 
He  wished  to  send  his  servant  with  his  prophet's 
staff,  but  the  good  woman  would  not  return  without 
him.  Elisha  therefore  went  with  her,  and  entering 
the  chamber,  where  the  dead  boy  lay,  he  prayed  and 
stretched  himself  upon  the  bed,  when  at  length  the 


OESAREA  AND  MOUNT  CARMEL  281 

boy's   eyes  opened,   and   be  was   restored,   a  living 
being,  to  tbe  bappy  mother. 

At  tbe  foot  of  tbe  Carmel  ridge,  near  tbe  southern 
extremity  of  the  Bay  of  Acre,  is  tbe  present  seaport 
of  the  people  who  live  on  or  near  the  mountain,  the 
town  of  Haifa,  having  about  fifteen  thousand  inhabit- 
ants. It  was  the  Greek  colony  of  Sycaminum,  and 
has  grown  much  in  recent  years,  through  tbe  stimu- 
lation given  by  the  colony  of  German  Templars 
which  started  here  in  1883,  having  absorbed  most  of 
the  trade  of  Acre  on  the  opposite  shore  of  the  bay. 
Here  is  the  grave  of  Mrs.  Lawrence  Olyphant,  who 
died  in  1886.  At  Haifa,  is  being  constructed  the 
Jewish  Institute  of  Technology,  founded  by  Mr.  Ja- 
cob H.  Schiff's  gift  of  $100,000,  for  the  introduction 
of  modern  ideas  and  methods  in  Palestine.  A  road 
is  constructed,  around  the  semicircular  shore  of  the 
bay,  to  Acre,  and  on  the  way  crosses  the  mouth  of 
the  Kishon,  which  is  about  a  hundred  feet  wide.  At 
the  northeastern  verge  of  the  bay,  on  a  protruding 
promontory,  is  the  once  famous  stronghold  of  the 
Crusaders,  now,  however,  somewhat  decayed.  The 
Phrenician  town  of  Accho,  the  name  meaning  "  hot 
sand,"  is  mentioned  in  the  book  of  Judges,  and  a 
Jewish  colony  was  established  here  later.  Under  the 
Egyptian  rule  it  was  called  Ptolemies,  and  the  Ro- 
mans subsequently  held  it,  St.  Paul  then  spending  a 
day  here.  For  several  centuries  it  was  ruled  by  a 
Christian  bishop,  but  the  Arabs  captured  it  in  the  sev- 


282  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

enth  century.  The  Crusaders  came  in  1104,  under 
Baldwin,  and  they  strengthened  the  fortifications, 
and  made  it  their  chief  seaport  in  the  Holy  Land. 
Saladin  drove  them  out  in  1187,  and  two  years  later 
Guy  of  Lusignan  besieged  it,  at  the  opening  of  the 
third  Crusade.  This  siege  lasted  till  1191,  when 
Richard  Co3ur  de  Lion  brought  reinforcements,  and 
the  place  was  taken  July  12th.  Saladin  promised  to 
ransom  the  Moslem  prisoners,  but  the  money  was  not 
forthcoming,  and  Richard  promptly  massacred  twen- 
ty-five hundred  of  them.  In  the  subsequent  peace 
the  Crusaders  were  allowed  to  hold  a  strip  of  land 
along  the  coast,  and  the  town,  then  called  Akka,  be- 
came their  headquarters.  Jerusalem  being  aban- 
doned, the  Knights  of  St.  John  transferred  their  cap- 
ital here,  and  by  them  it  was  named  St.  Jean  d'Acre. 
They  held  it  about  a  century,  when  the  Turks  again 
captured  it,  though  the  pilgrims  to  Jerusalem  still 
made  it  a  landing  place.  The  Turks  have  ever  since 
been  in  control,-  the  famous  Jezzar  Pasha,  in  the 
eighteenth  century,  having  greatly  improved  it, 
bringing  building  materials  from  various  adjacent 
ancient  cities.  Napoleon  besieged  it  in  1799,  the 
English  aiding  the  Turks  in  a  successful  defence. 
Acre  has  been  so  sadly  battered  in  repeated  conflicts 
that  it  now  has  few  antiquities  to  show,  but  there  are 
interesting  remains  of  the  Crusaders'  ramparts;  and 
a  fine  mosque  was  built  by  Jezzar,  its  handsome  col- 
umns brought  from  the  ruins  of  Csesarea,  the  builder, 


THE  PLAIN  OF  ESDRAELON  283 

who  died  in  1804,  being  buried  in  the  court.  The 
old  residence  of  the  Knights  of  St.  John  is  now  a 
hospital,  and  there- are  some  remains  of  their  church. 
The  port  of  Acre  still  has  trade,  but  sand  deposits 
have  gradually  shoaled  the  harbor,  and  the  popula- 
tion now  is  barely  ten  thousand. 

THE    PLAIN    OF    ESDKAELON. 

From  the  Bay  of  Acre  and  the  long  ridge  of  Mount 
Carmel  stretches  far  inland  the  "  Great  Plain,"  Es- 
draelon.  This  was  the  Old  Testament  Plain  of 
Megiddo,  the  ancient  plain  of  Jezreel,  and  is  now 
known  by  the  Arabs  as  the  Merj  ibn  Amir,  or  the 
"  meadow  of  the  son  of  Amir."  It  is  an  extensive 
plateau,  generally  elevated  about  two  hundred  and 
fifty  feet  above  sea  level,  marshy  in  places,  but  re- 
markably fertile,  the  rich,  blackish  soil  being  mostly 
decomposed  volcanic  rock.  From  the  summit  of 
Mount  Carmel  the  view  over  this  extensive  plain  is 
magnificent,  when  the  generous  rains  of  spring  make 
it  a  vast  expanse  of  the  most  delicious  green,  varied 
here  and  there  by  the  brown,  plowed  fields  that  are 
bordered  by  tall  cactus  hedges.  The  brook  Kishon 
drains  much  of  the  surface  into  the  Bay  of  Acre.  To 
the  northward  also  flows  in  the  river  Bolus,  where, 
according  to  Pliny,  the  ancients  made  glass  from  the 
river  sands,  and  Josephus  writes  that  there  once 
stood  on  its  bank  a  monument  to  Memnon.  From 
the  far  eastern  side  of  the  plain,  the  narrow  valley  of 


284  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Jezreel  and  another  ravine  are  cut  down  in  the  bor- 
dering hills  and  descend  through  them  to  the  river 
Jordan.  Esdraelon  is  triangular,  the  eastern  side, 
which  is  the  longest,  extending  about  twenty-four 
miles.  Upon  the  southern  verge  is  the  village  of 
Lejjun,  which  was  the  Roman  Legio  and  the  Biblical 
Megiddo.  It  is  in  a  commanding  position,  upon  the 
passes  leading  down  from  the  Samarian  hills  to  the 
plain,  through  which  comes  out  a  great  caravan  route 
that  from  time  immemorial  has  led  from  the  farther 
eastern  lands  toward  Egypt.  The  recent  Zionist 
movement  is  making  a  numerous  Jewish  immigration 
to  Esdraelon,  buying  farms  from  the  Moslems,  intro- 
ducing modern  agricultural  methods  and  causing  a 
rise  in  land  values.  The  Jews  are  said  to  have  se- 
cured the  greater  part  of  the  arable  lands. 

All  the  ancient  races,  Canaanites,  Israelites,  Egyp- 
tians, fortified  this  stronghold  of  Megiddo.  Upon 
the  neighboring  western  hill,  the  Tel  el  Mutesellim, 
a  continuation  of  Carmel,  recent  excavations  have 
disclosed  an  old  castle,  dating  from  the  twentieth 
century  B.  C.,  having  a  brick  encircling  wall  nearly 
thirty  feet  thick,  and  various  gems  and  seals  of  Bab- 
ylonian origin  have  been  found.  Its  strategic  posi- 
tion has  made  this  Plain  of  Esdraelon  the  greatest 
battleground  in  the  Holy  Land.  It  was  here  the 
Sidonian  Canaanites  so  long  oppressed  Israel,  until 
the  inspired  Deborah  aroused  the  afflicted  people,  and 
Barak  gathered  the  force  on  Mount  Tabor,  on  its 


Village  of  Jenin  and  Plain  of  Esdraelon. 


THE  PLAIX  OF  ESDRAELON  285 

eastern  border,  behind  Nazareth,  which  marched 
down  upon  the  plain,  and  aided  by  a  fierce  storm  of 
rain  and  hail,  that  beat  full  in  the  faces  of  Sisera's 
host,  drove  them  into  the  Kishon  torrent,  defeating 
them  with  great  slaughter.  Sisera  escaped,  but  as 
he  lay  fast  asleep,  and  weary  after  the  day's  battle, 
the  nail  was  driven  by  Jael  into  his  brain  which 
killed  him.  Then  Deborah  and  Barak  sang  the  song 
of  triumph  that  immortalized  them,  and  we  are  told 
"  the  land  had  rest  forty  years." 

Another  victory  of  Israel  came  upon  this  plain, 
when  Gideon  led  the  tribes  in  repelling  the  Midi- 
anites,  who  made  repeated  marauding  incursions 
from  the  eastern  side  of  Jordan.  The  invaders  this 
time  had  come  in  such  numbers  that  the  Israelites 
were  affrighted  and  would  not  fight,  so  that  Gideon 
had  only  three  hundred  men  on  whom  he  could  de- 
pend. These  he  provided  with  trumpets,  and  lamps 
concealed  in  earthen  pitchers,  dividing  the  men  into 
three  bodies,  who  attacked  the  Midianite  camp  at 
night,  from  different  points,  noisily  breaking  the 
pitchers,  blowing  the  trumpets,  waving  the  lamps, 
and  crying  out  loudly  their  slogan :  "  The  sword  of 
the  Lord  and  of  Gideon."  The  surprised  and  scared 
invaders,  in  confusion  turned  their  arms  upon  each 
other,  supposing  they  were  surrounded  by  an  enor- 
mous army,  and  fled  in  dismay,  all  Israel  soon  fol- 
lowing them  and  chastising  them.  Later  came 
another  invasion  of  the  plain,  this  time  by  the  Philis- 


286  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

tines  from  the  south,  pursuing  the  hapless  Saul,  who 
had  placed  his  camp  on  Mount  Gilboa,  at  the  eastern 
edge  of  the  plain.  In  his  despair,  Saul  went  in  dis- 
guise to  consult  the  Witch  of  Endor,  and  she  called 
up  the  spirit  of  the  dead  Samuel,  whom  Saul  had  so 
often  disobeyed,  and  Samuel  pronounced  his  doom. 
"  To-morrow  shalt  thou  and  thy  sons  be  with  me ;  the 
Lord  also  shall  deliver  the  host  of  Israel  into  the  hand 
of  the  Philistines."  The  battle  came,  Saul's  sons 
were  slain,  he  was  wounded,  and  afterward  fell  upon 
his  own  sword.  David's  poignant  lament  for  his 
bosom  friend  Jonathan,  the  son  of  Saul,  is  one  of  the 
gems  of  the  Scriptures.  There  came  here  again  a 
defeat  for  Israel,  in  the  seventh  century  B.  C.,  when 
Josiah  was  king.  Pharaoh  Necho,  of  Egypt,  was 
carrying  on  a  war  with  Assyria,  and  his  army 
marched  northward,  through  the  land  of  the  Philis- 
tines and  over  the  Plain  of  Sharon,  around  the  north- 
western promontory  of  Carmel,  and  across  Kishon  to 
the  Plain  of  Esdraelon,  intending  to  cross  the  Jordan 
eastward.  Josiah,  under  bad  advice,  attacked  the 
Egyptian  king  and  was  defeated,  being  slain  in  the 
battle.  Thus  Israel  passed  under  the  Egyptian  yoke, 
and  in  the  next  century,  Nebuchadnezzar  captured 
Jerusalem,  conquered  Israel,  destroyed  the  temple, 
and  carried  the  people  off  captives  to  Babylon.  The 
latest  conflict  on  this  famous  battleground  came 
when  the  French  under  Napoleon  besieged  Acre  in 
1799,  and  the  Turks  gathered  here  a  large  army  of 


THE  PLAIN  OF  ESDRAELON  287 

various  races  to  raise  the  siege.  Napoleon,  in  his 
masterly  method,  aided  by  the  brilliant  Kleber  and 
Murat,  attacked  and  defeated  the  Turks  near  Me- 
giddo,  drove  them  down  to  the  swollen  Jordan,  and 
utterly  routed  their  nondescript  army.  The  con- 
flicts are  not  yet  ended  on  this  noted  arena,  if  St. 
John's  prediction,  in  the  Revelation,  of  the  forthcom- 
ing battle  of  "  Armageddon,"  means,  as  most  com- 
mentators suppose,  this  historic  "  Plain  of  Me- 
giddo." 

Esdraelon  is  full  of  localities  mentioned  in  the 
Bible  to  which  visitors  now  go,  and  view  the  existing 
rather  decadent  Arab  villages  with  keen  interest, 
inspired  by  the  past.  Upon  the  eastern  verge  of  the 
plain  is  the  barren  ridge  of  Gilboa,  broken  down  at 
its  northern  end  by  the  vale  of  Jezreel,  through  which 
a  little  stream  flows  eastward  down  to  the  Jordan. 
Beyond  is  the  extinct  crater  of  the  Tel  el  Ajjul,  while 
to  the  northward  rises  the  magnificent  dome  of 
Mount  Tabor,  elevated  1,850  feet.  This  range  of 
hills,  anciently  marked  the  frontier  of  the  tribe  of 
Issachar,  who  lived  on  the  plain ;  and  Tabor  and  Car- 
mel  were  the  two  splendid  outposts  on  the  east  and 
west,  both  being  covered  with  verdure  to  their  sum- 
mits. Tabor  is  the  Arab  Jebel  el  Tur,  the  "  Moun- 
tain of  Purity,"  and  was  always  regarded  as  sacred. 
The  prophet  Jeremiah  thus  gives  the  prediction  of 
Jehovah,  in  which  the  two  mountains  are  referred  to. 
"  As  I  live,  saith  the  King,  whose  name  is  the  Lord 


288  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

of  Hosts,  surely  as  Tabor  is  among  the  mountains, 
and  as  Carmel  is  by  the  sea,  so  shall  He  come." 
Down  on  the  plain,  in  front  of  Gilboa,  is  the  Arab 
village  of  Jenin,  which  was  ancient  Gannim,  where 
Jesus  healed  the  ten  lepers,  of  whom  but  one  returned 
to  tell  his  gratitude.  To  the  northward,  at  the  en- 
trance of  the  gorge,  and  on  a  northwestern  spur  of 
Gilboa,  giving  a  fine  outlook  over  the  plain,  is  Zerin, 
another  small  village  with  heaps  of  ruins,  yet  preserv- 
ing a  medieval  tower,  built  by  the  Crusaders,  that 
gives  a  good  outlook,  the  hill  on  which  it  stands  being 
partly  artificial.  This  was  Ahab's  splendid  capital 
of  Jezreel,  where  he  had  his  great  palace  of  ivory, 
and  Naboth's  vineyard  was  to  the  eastward.  There 
always  was  a  watchtower  here,  overlooking  the  plain 
as  far  as  Carmel,  and  it  is  mentioned  in  the  book  of 
Kings. 

A  little  way  northward  is  Sulem,  the  ancient  Shu- 
nem,  where  Elisha  brought  the  Shunemite  woman's 
son  to  life.  On  its  northern  border  rises  the  Little 
Hermon  Mount,  elevated  nearly  seventeen  hundred 
feet,  with  a  village  near  the  top.  A  precipitous 
ledge  of  rocks  is  pointed  out,  on  the  hillside,  as  the 
place  from  which  the  jSTazarenes,  mentioned  by  Luke, 
attempted  to  cast  Jesus  down  headlong.  On  the 
northern  verge  of  the  Little  Hermon  is  Nain,  now 
only  a  small  collection  of  huts,  with  a  Franciscan 
chapel.  Here  Jesus  touched  the  bier  and  brought 
the  widow's  son  back  to  life.  To  the  eastward,  be- 


Ancient  Tower  of  Zerin,  the  ancient  Jezreel. 


THE  PLAIN  OF  ESDRAELON  289 

tween  Ajjul  and  Tabor,  is  another  little  village, 
Endur,  where  Saul  went  to  see  the  witch  of  Endor. 
From  here  the  streams  go  eastward,  through  deep 
ravines  to  the  Jordan.  At  all  these  places  the  noble 
Mount  Tabor  is  in  full  view,  with  ruins  of  structures 
of  various  ages  covering  much  of  the  top  and  slopes. 
In  the  third  century  B.  C.  Antiochus  the  Great 
founded  a  town  on  the  summit,  which  Josephus  after- 
ward fortified,  and  in  Christ's  time  the  top  was 
covered  by  houses.  The  legend  is  that  Tabor  was 
the  place  of  the  Transfiguration,  but  this  is  not 
verified,  though  some  fathers  of  the  church,  among 
them  Origen  and  St.  Jerome,  speak  of  it,  and  in  the 
sixth  century  three  churches  were  erected  in  memory 
of  St.  Peter's  three  tabernacles.  The  Crusaders 
built  a  church  and  a  monastery  on  the  summit,  and 
when  the  Turks  drove  them  out  in  the  thirteenth 
century,  the  infidels  fortified  the  hill  top,  which  the 
Christians  afterward  unsuccessfully  besieged.  The 
Turks,  however,  found  the  place  difficult  to  hold,  and 
dismantled  it.  Everything  now  is  in  ruin,  there 
being  remains  of  a  wall,  enclosing  about  four  square 
miles  of  the  summit,  with  many  large  blocks  of  stone, 
and  a  ruined  castle,  church  and  chapels.  The  latter 
are  within  the  precincts  of  a  more  modern  Latin 
monastery,  and  there  are  also  a  Greek  church  and 
monastery.  Each  of  these  monasteries  claims  to  be 
upon  the  actual  site  of  the  Transfiguration.  To  the 

westward  of  Tabor,   a  little  way,   is  the  home  of 
VOL.  11—19 


290  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Christ's  childhood,  En  Nasireh,  once  the  despised 
town  of  Nazareth. 

NAZARETH. 

Nazareth  is  within  an  amphitheatre  of  hills, 
thought  to  be  the  crater  of  an  extinct  volcano,  its  flat- 
roofed  houses  and  narrow  streets  being  on  a  hill  slope 
that  rises  about  five  hundred  feet  above  the  valley. 
It  has  about  twenty  thousand  population,  the  major- 
ity Christians,  and  its  appearance  is  very  pleasing, 
especially  in  the  rainy  season,  when  the  white  walls 
of  the  houses  are  in  sharp  contrast  with  the  delicious 
green  of  the  gardens  that  are  all  about,  appearing,  as 
has  been  well  said,  "  like  a  handful  of  pearls  in  a 
goblet  of  emerald."  From  the  summit  of  the  hill 
slope  is  a  splendid  view,  far  away  over  the  Plain 
of  Esdraelon,  with  the  long  ridge  of  Mount  Carmel 
and  the  brilliant  blue  Mediterranean  in  the  distance. 
Two  places  of  great  interest  are  in  the  town,  the 
"  Virgin's  Well "  on  the  hill  slope,  and  the  Latin 
Monastery  and  Church  of  the  Annunciation.  The 
great  historical  event  of  the  Annunciation,  by  the 
angel  to  the  Virgin,  that  she  was  to  be  the  mother  of 
Jesus,  is  recorded  by  St.  Luke,  but  no  evidence  exists 
connecting  it  with  any  particular  spot  in  Nazareth. 
Consequently,  the  authorities  differ  on  the  subject  of 
its  actual  location.  After  the  Roman  Emperor  Con- 
stantine  became  a  Christian  there  began  to  be  heard 
traditions  of  the  localization  of  the  Annunciation, 


NAZARETH  291 

and  in  the  sixth  century  a  church  was  built.  The 
Crusaders  made  much  of  the  place,  and  built  several 
churches,  and  the  outcome  was  that  both  the  Greek 
and  the  Roman  (Latin)  churches  claimed  to  possess 
the  actual  spot  of  the  Annunciation.  The  Greek 
location  is  at  the  Virgin's  Spring,  while  the  Latin 
location  is  in  a  cave,  under  their  Church  of  the  An- 
nunciation. This  church  is  within  the  precincts  of 
their  monastery,  and  was  built  in  its  present  form  in 
the  eighteenth  century,  being  a  small  church  about 
seventy  feet  long,  with  a  vestibule  called  the  Angel's 
Chapel,  having  two  altars  dedicated  to  the  Angel 
Gabriel  and  St.  Joachim,  the  Virgin's  father.  The 
high  altar  bears  a  Latin  inscription,  announcing 
"  Here  the  Word  was  made  flesh,"  and  there  are  two 
columns,  one  dedicated  to  Gabriel,  marking  the  place 
where  the  Angel  stood,  and  the  other  to  Mary,  show- 
ing where  she  stood.  The  latter  is  a  piece  of  a  red 
granite  column,  hanging  from  the  ceiling,  and  said 
to  be  miraculously  supported,  exactly  above  the  spot 
where  she  received  the  angel's  message.  Adjoining 
is  the  Chapel  of  St.  Joseph,  containing  the  "  Altar 
of  the  Flight  into  Egypt,"  and  on  the  outside  are  the 
"  Kitchen  of  the  Virgin "  and  the  "  Workshop  of 
Joseph,"  where  he  is  said  to  have  labored  as  a  carpen- 
ter. 

The  legend  is  that  on  this  site  stood,  in  1291,  the 
house  formerly  occupied  by  the  Virgin,  and  it  was 
in  danger  of  desecration  by  the  Moslems,  who  had 


292  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

captured  the  town,  on  May  10th.  Suddenly  the 
house  was  lifted  up  bodily  in  the  air,  and  borne  by 
angels,  was  carried  far  over  the  land  and  the  sea  to 
Dalmatia,  where  it  rested  at  a  village  near  Fiume. 
A  few  years  subsequently  it  was  again  miraculously 
raised,  and  had  another  angelic  transportation,  in  a 
night,  across  the  Adriatic  Sea  into  Italy,  landing  in 
a  laurel  grove,  on  a  hill  overlooking  the  shore,  a  short 
distance  southeast  of  Ancona.  This  place  was 
named,  from  the  laurel  grove,  Loreto,  and  here  the 
Casa  Santa,  or  "  Holy  House,"  still  is  kept  under  the 
massive  dome  of  a  large  church.  It  is  a  small  and 
plain  stone  building,  about  twenty-eight  by  twelve 
feet,  and  a  little  more  than  thirteen  feet  high.  This 
precious  relic  is  surrounded  by  a  lofty  and  splendidly 
decorated  marble  screen,  and  is  visited  by  large  num- 
bers of  pilgrims.  In  1471  the  church  declared  this 
legend  of  the  angelic  transportation  to  be  true,  and 
the  "  Holy  House  of  Mary,"  at  Loreto,  has  ever  since 
been  the  object  of  adoration  by  the  devout.  The 
other  location  of  the  "  Virgin's  Spring,"  at  Nazareth, 
popularly  known  as  "  Mary's  Well,"  is  on  the  north 
side  of  the  Greek  Church  of  the  Annunciation,  upon 
the  lower  hill  slope,  the  water  flowing  through  the 
church,  which  is  built  half  underground,  and  the 
stream  passing  the  altar.  The  Greek  pilgrims  to 
this  sacred  spring  get  the  water  through  an  opening 
in  the  conduit,  and  bathe  their  eyes  and  hands.  The 
conduit  leads  to  "  Mary's  Well,"  at  a  lower  level  on 


NAZARETH  293 

the  hill  slope,  where  the  women  of  Nazareth  still  fill 
their  pitchers,  as  they  have  done  for  many  centuries, 
this  being  the  only  spring  the  town  possesses.  Both 
Jesus  and  Mary  must,  in  their  day,  have  frequented 
this  spot  and  used  the  water.  There  is  always  a  busy 
crowd  at  the  spring,  and  it  is  the  place  for  the  general 
washing  of  clothes,  by  the  townsfolk,  and  also  of  the 
children.  The  site  of  the  synagogue,  where  Jesus  is 
said  to  have  ministered,  is  also  shown,  although  the 
old  buildings  long  ago  disappeared,  and  the  present 
structure  is  a  comparatively  modern  Greek  church. 
Many  religious  denominations  have  churches  and 
missionary  stations  in  Nazareth,  for  the  connexion 
of  the  once  despised  town  with  the  life  of  the  youth- 
ful Jesus  and  with  the  Virgin  gives  it  the  greatest 
present  interest.  The  thought  that  this  beautiful 
place  inspires,  in  its  connexion  with  the  Blessed 
Mother,  is  apostrophized  in  Wordsworth's  charming 
sonnet : 

Mother!   whose  Virgin  bosom  was  uncrossed 
With  the  least  shade  or  thought  to  sin  allied; 
Woman!   above  all  women  glorified; 

Our  tainted  nature's  solitary  boast; 

Purer  than  foam  on  central  ocean  tossed; 

Brighter  than  eastern  skies  at  daybreak  strewn 
With  fancied  roses,  than  the  unblemished  moon 

Before  her  wane  begins,  on  heav'n's  blue  coast; 

Thy  image  falls  to  earth.     Yet  same,  I  ween, 
Not  unforgiven,  the   suppliant  knee  might  bend, 
As  to  a  visible  Power,  in  whom  did  blend 
All  that  was  mix'd   and   reconciled  in  thee 


294  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Of  mother's  love  with  maiden  purity, 
Of  high  with  low,  celestial  with  terrene! 

TYRE    AND    SIDON. 

From  the  brook  Kishon,  along  the  shores  of  the 
Bay  of  Acre,  and  northward  to  Tyre,  extends  the 
fertile  plain  of  Tyre  for  twenty  miles,  this  being  a 
narrow  strip  spreading  back  inland  a  few  miles  from 
the  coast.  Athwart  it,  from  the  interior,  comes  out  a 
rugged  ridge,  ending  in  three  long  promontories, 
stretched  into  the  sea,  and  having  a  breadth  of  about 
eight  miles.  These  three  bold  headlands,  mostly 
composed  of  white  cliffs,  are  the  Ras  el  Musheinfeh, 
the  highest  and  boldest;  the  Ras  el  Nakurah,  or 
"Ladder  of  Tyre";  and  the  Ras  el  Abyad.  Past 
them  goes  a  rough  and  toilsome  road  for  the  traveller 
along  the  coast,  with  various  breakneck  descents,  the 
sea  beating  wildly  on  the  rocks  below.  This  is  the 
border  of  the  ancient  land  of  Phrenicia,  that  extended 
over  a  hundred  miles  from  Jaffa,  far  northward  be- 
yond Beyrout,  along  a  coast  of  promontories  and 
islands,  on  which  the  maritime  people  of  that  day 
built  their  ports,  because  they  were  thus  defended 
from  mainland  attacks.  The  name  was  given  .by 
the  Greeks,  for  in  the  earlier  songs  of  Homer,  and 
also  in  the  book  of  Genesis,  the  people  are  called 
Sidonians,  from  their  then  prominent  city  of  Sidon, 
which  included  Tyre  in  its  government.  Originally 
these  people  came  from  Arabia,  and  they  claimed  for 


TYRE  AND  SIDON  295 

their  race  an  antiquity  of  thirty  thousand  years,  call- 
ing themselves  Canaanites  and  their  land  Canaan, 
which  is  also  quoted  in  Scripture.  They  were  skil- 
ful navigators,  and  steered  their  ships  at  night,  by 
the  guidance  of  the  North  Pole  Star,  which  the 
Greeks  consequently  called  the  Phosnician  Star. 
Their  maritime  enterprise  soon  gave  them  control  of 
the  entire  commerce  of  the  Mediterranean,  exchang- 
ing the  products  of  Babylon  and  the  interior  of  Asia 
with  Egypt,  Africa  and  all  the  western  nations  to 
and  beyond  the  Pillars  of  Hercules,  thus,  in  their  ex- 
pansion of  commerce,  founding  many  colonies. 
They  were  shipbuilders,  slave-dealers,  producers  of 
fine  goods,  and  of  the  wonderful  purple  dyestuffs 
then  so  famous,  had  a  good  knowledge  of  mathe- 
matics, and  took  the  Semitic  alphabet  wherever  they 
went,  making  it  the  foundation  of  all  the  western 
alphabets. 

They  were  pagans,  worshipping  the  sun  god  Baal, 
the  moon  goddess  Astarte,  and  her  son  Melkart,  who 
was  synonymous  with  the  Biblical  Moloch.  Their 
form  of  worship,  like  that  of  the  Hebrews,  included 
sacrifices,  and  it  was  the  borrowing  and  adaptation 
of  the  Phoenician  idolatry,  vices  and  luxurious 
habits,  by  the  Israelites,  that  provoked  the  repeated 
denunciations  of  the  prophets  and  brought  such  con- 
dign punishments  upon  the  chosen  people.  Astarte 
was  the  goddess  of  fertility,  and  during  their  suc- 
cessful career  the  Phosnicians  spread  the  cult  of 


296  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Adonis  throughout  Asia  Minor,  the  slain  and 
mourned  Adonis  taking  a  prominent  part  in  their 
religious  ceremonies,  the  alternation  of  life  and 
death,  thus  typified,  being  afterward  adopted  in  the 
Grecian  mythology,  in  Venus  and  Adonis.  This  god 
was  the  son  of  Myrrha,  who  was  the  daughter  of 
Cinyras,  King  of  Cyprus,  and  born  in  Arabia.  Be- 
fore his  birth  his  mother  was  transformed  into  the 
tree,  producing  the  fragrant  gum  called  by  her  name. 
He  grew  up  a  model  of  manly  beauty,  and  was  pas- 
sionately loved  by  Aphrodite  (Venus).  Hunting 
was  his  favorite  pastime,  until  having  gone  to  the 
chase,  against  her  entreaties,  he  was  mortally 
wounded  by  a  wild  boar.  Venus,  coming  too  late 
to  the  rescue,  was  only  able  to  change  his  blood  into 
flowers.  Going  after  death  to  the  under  world,  he 
was  beloved  by  Proserpine,  and  the  rival  ladies  con- 
testing for  his  possession,  Zeus  ordered  that  he  should 
spend  four  months  of  the  year  with  each  and  the 
remaining  four  months  as  he  chose.  This  alternat- 
ing abode,  above  and  under  the  earth's  surface,  was 
typical  of  the  planting  of  seed,  which  in  due  season 
rises  in  a  new  growth  above  the  ground.  Hence,  the 
Phrenician  worship,  and  the  Greek  myth,  following 
it,  represented  the  union  of  Venus  and  Adonis  on 
one  day  and  the  sorrow  at  his  death  on  the  next  day, 
the  women  performing  the  funeral  rites  over  small 
images  of  the  god.  They  also  planted  quick  grow- 
ing herbs,  and  threw  them  into  springs  after  the  bur- 


TYRE  AXD  SIDON  297 

ial.  It  was  a  worship  of  the  reproductive  principles 
in  the  plants,  which  after  a  short  life  die  and  are 
buried,  but  again  spring  up  into  new  life.  The 
name  has  a  Semitic  derivation,  Adon  meaning 
"  lord,"  and  the  worship  was  widespread  throughout 
all  the  eastern  lands.  The  kings  of  the  various 
Phoenician  towns  claimed  descent  from  various  gods. 
Tyre  and  Sidon  were  their  chief  cities,  for  a  long 
time  forming  a  single  community  under  the  name  of 
Sidon.  Having  accepted  the  Persian  suzerainty  in 
the  sixth  century  B.  C.,  they  attained  high  pros- 
perity, and  contributed  a  formidable  contingent  to 
the  Persian  fleets.  Alexander  ultimately  conquered 
them,  and  under  his  domination  much  of  their  trade 
was  transferred  to  Alexandria,  which  he  founded,  the 
importance  of  the  Phoenician  cities  then  declining. 

The  Tyre  of  the  present  day  is  a  small  town  of 
barely  six  thousand  population,  and  known  by  the 
Arabic  name  of  Sur.  On  the  southern  border,  near 
the  coast,  is  the  reservoir  of  Eas  el  Ain,  its  aqueducts 
and  basins  being  Roman  works,  and  the  name  mean- 
ing the  "  Head  of  the  Spring."  The  tradition  is 
that  here  the  Saviour  met  the  Syro-Phcenician 
woman,  mentioned  by  St.  Mark,  who,  in  her  humility, 
asked  only  for  crumbs  from  the  Master's  table,  and 
got  rich  reward.  Sur  is  on  a  peninsula,  extended 
into  the  sea,  and  broadening  at  the  outer  end.  In  its 
great  day  Tyre  was  built  on  two  bare,  rocky  islands, 
forming  the  enclosure  of  the  harbors,  with  the  oldest 


298  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  largest  portion  behind  the  islands,  on  the  main- 
land. Pliny  says  the  ancient  city  was  nineteen  miles 
in  circumference.  King  Hiram,  who  sent  workmen 
and  materials  to  build  Solomon's  temple,  connected 
these  islands  by  an  embankment,  making  them  as 
one.  According  to  a  legend,  quoted  by  Herodotus, 
the  Tyrians  claimed  that  their  city  was  founded 
2,756  B.  C.,  the  oldest  place  existing  on  that  coast, 
which  had  attained  venerable  age  at  the  time  of  the 
siege  of  Troy.  Under  the  auspices  of  Pharaoh  ISTecho, 
of  Egypt,  with  which  country  they  had  such  close 
maritime  relations,  the  Tyrians  in  611  B.  C.  sent 
out  an  expedition  that  circumnavigated  Africa,  oc- 
cupying about  six  years  in  this  greatest  achievement 
of  ancient  seamanship.  Nebuchadnezzar's  siege  of 
Tyre  continued  thirteen  years,  and  he  got  control  of 
the  city,  576  B.  C.  Alexander,  fighting  the  Persians, 
besieged  Tyre  for  seven  months,  and  finally  built  an 
embankment  from  the  mainland  •  over  to  the  islands, 
using  the  building  materials  of  the  older  city,  on  the 
shore,  for  the  purpose.  Thus  the  ancient  city  was 
destroyed,  and  in  July,  332  B.  C.,  by  means  of  this 
method  of  approach,  he  captured  the  place,  eight 
thousand  Tyrians  being  slain,  thirty  thousand  sold 
into  slavery,  and  only  a  few  spared,  who  had  taken 
refuge  in  the  Temple  of  Hercules,  a  god  that  Alex- 
ander feared. 

The  island  city  covered  then  about  two  hundred 
acres,  and  Alexander's  embankment,  widened  to  a 


TYRE  AND  SIDON  299 

breadth  of  a  half-mile  to  a  mile,  through  subsequent 
accretions  from  the  sea,  which  have  silted  up  the 
harbors  on  both  sides,  has  made  the  peninsula, 
whereon  is  now  the  town  of  Sur.  Astarte  was  said 
to  have  been  born  in  Tyre,  and  Melkart  reigned 
afterward,  and  on  the  larger  island  were  Astarte's 
temple,  the  shrine  of  Baal,  the  Temple  of  Hercules, 
and,  on  the  highest  eminence,  the  Temple  of  Melkart. 
Only  a  few  architectural  fragments  remain,  and 
much  of  the  antiquities  have  been  removed  to  Acre 
and  Beyrout.  The  New  Testament  records  the  visits 
of  Jesus  and  St.  Paul  to  Tyre,  and  it  early  became  a 
Christian  settlement.  The  Crusaders  held  it  nearly 
two  centuries,  but  it  fell  before  the  Turks  in  1291, 
when  they  destroyed  it,  and  since  then  Tyre  has  been 
in  decadence.  The  most  interesting  of  the  old  build- 
ings is  the  Crusaders'  Church,  of  which  a  portion  is 
preserved,  its  three  apses  being  built  into  the  town 
walls.  It  was  a  Venetian  structure  of  the  twelfth 
century,  dedicated  to  St.  Mark,  and  in  it  was  buried 
the  German  Emperor  Frederick  Barbarossa,  a  prom- 
inent Crusader,  who  died  1190.  Two  years  later 
Conrad  of  Monferrat,  another  of  them,  was  murdered 
in  this  church.  Inland  from  Tyre,  on  a  rocky  head- 
land commanding  two  deep  valleys,  which  it  rises 
between,  is  Kalat  Kara,  the  chief  stronghold  of  the 
Crusaders,  an  enormous  fortress,  controlling  the  road 
to  Acre,  built  in  the  early  thirteenth  century.  It  is 
now  an  attractive  ruin. 


300  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Northward  and  most  of  the  way  along  the  coast 
leads  the  high  road  from  Tyre  to  Sidon.  There  are 
various  ruins  and  ancient  tombs  along  this  route,  and 
about  half  way,  on  a  hill,  is  the  little  village  of  Sara- 
fand,  with  an  abandoned  harbor  in  front  and  the  re- 
mains of  a  chapel  said  to  have  been  built  on  a  spot 
visited  by  Elijah.  This  place  was  Zarephath  of  the 
book  of  Kings,  afterward  called  Sarepta,  by  Luke. 
During  the  drought,  which  was  put  upon  Israel, 
in  the  reign  of  Ahab,  for  his  idolatries,  the  prophet 
Elijah  came  here  and  found  the  poor  widow  who 
was  gathering  sticks  to  make  a  fire  to  cook  the  only 
handful  of  meal  remaining  in  the  barrel,  and  the 
little  oil  in  the  cruse,  that  she  and  her  son  might  eat 
before  they  died.  But  she  cheerfully  gave  these  last 
morsels  to  the  hungering  prophet,  and  then  the  meal 
barrel  did  not  waste  nor  the  cruse  of  oil  fail  until 
the  clouds  came  and  the  blessed  rain  was  sent  by 
the  Lord  to  the  parched  earth.  A  little  way  south 
of  Sarafand  there  flows  out  to  the  sea  the  vigor- 
ous stream  of  the  Jsahr  el  Kasimiyeh,  in  a  serpen- 
tine course  through  a  sandy  intervale.  This  is  the 
famous  river  Litani,  which  comes  down  southward 
between  the  Lebanon  and  Anti-Lebanon  mountain 
ranges,  and  then  turns  westward  to  the  Mediterra- 
nean. A  number  of  smaller  streams  also  flow  from 
the  Lebanon  ravines,  through  sandy  and  fertile  bot- 
tomlands, and  in  a  little  while  the  route  enters  the 
attractive  garden  environment  of  modern  Saida, 


TYRE  AND  SIDON  301 

which  was  the  ancient  Sidon,  built  upon  a  prom- 
ontory, having  its  island,  now  a  peninsula,  in  front. 
All  the  way  along  the  eastern  horizon  is  bounded 
by  the  southern  Lebanon  mountains,  whence  the 
Tyrians  got  their  cedarwood  in  ancient  times,  and 
through  the  intervening  hilly  and  stony  table  land 
goes  the  caravan  route  that  for  thousands  of  years 
has  been  traversed  between  Sidon  and  Damascus. 
This  penetrates  the  Lebanon,  and  crosses  the  Litani, 
southeast  of  Sidon,  in  a  deep  ravine,  commanded 
by  the  towering  castle  of  Kalatesh  Shakif,  built 
on  a  rock,  rising  precipitously  fifteen  hundred  feet 
above  the  bottom  of  the  ravine,  and  twenty-five  hun- 
dred feet  above  the  sea.  To  the  northward  the  Leb- 
anon range  ascends  to  the  summit  of  the  Tomat 
Niha,  over  6,000  feet,  with  higher  peaks  beyond. 
This  castle  was  a  Crusaders'  stronghold,  called  Bel- 
fort,  and  was  captured  by  Saladin  in  1196,  being 
afterward  repeatedly  taken  and  retaken.  It  was 
originally  a  Roman  outpost,  but  most  of  the  ruins 
are  Saracenic.  There  is  a  splendid  view  eastward 
across  the  magnificent  gorge  of  the  Litani,  with  its 
torrent  of  green  water  rushing  far  below,  the  valley 
of  the  upper  Jordan  beyond,  and  to  the  broad  slope 
of  Mount  Hermon,  its  snow-capped  summits  rising 
over  9,000  feet.  Southward  is  the  hilly  land  of 
ISTaphtali. 

Sidon  is  described  in  Genesis  as  the  firstborn  son 
of  Canaan,  and  Homer  said  it  was  rich  in  ore,  and 


302  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

its  people  were  experienced  in  art.  It  was  distanced, 
however,  by  Tyre,  which  usually  held  the  leading 
position,  though  the  people  of  both  were  called 
Sidonians.  The  Persians  destroyed  it,  in  351  B. 
C.,  massacring  thirty  thousand  people,  and  the 
Greeks  occupied  it  without  trouble.  It  had  a  Chris- 
tian church  early,  being  visited  by  St.  Paul  on  his 
way  to  Rome,  as  described  in  The  Acts,  and  after  the 
Saracenic  possession  it  was,  during  centuries,  fought 
for  and  battered  between  them  and  the  Crusaders, 
until,  in  1291,  the  Turks  got  undisputed  control. 
The  place  was  of  little  importance  afterward,  until 
the  Mohammedan  sect  of  the  Druses,  which  became 
powerful  in  Syria,  made  it  their  capital,  under  their 
Emir  Fakhreddin,  when  it  grew  to  be  a  handsome 
city,  with  increasing  trade,  and  became  the  active 
seaport  of  Damascus. 

In  later  years  Sidon  has  declined  in  importance, 
the  commerce  going  away  to  Beyrout,  and  the  harbor 
becoming  choked  from  neglect.  The  present  town 
has  about  10,000  people,  mostly  Moslems,  and  ex- 
cepting its  environment  of  gardens,  which  shows  a 
superb  development  of  fruit  orchards  and  palms,  it 
has  few  attractions,  the  present  exports  being 
chiefly  oranges  and  lemons.  It  has  nine  mosques, 
the  largest  having  originally  been  a  church  of  the 
Knights  Templar.  There  is  an  extensive  and  in- 
teresting necropolis  of  ancient  Sidon,  the  tombs 
hewn  in  the  limestone  rocks  back  on  the  mainland. 


SYRIAN  COAST  CITIES  303 

From  these  tombs  have  been  taken  various  ancient 
sarcophagi  to  Constantinople  and  Paris. 

SYRIAN    COAST    CITIES. 

Northward  from  Sidon  the  route  along  the  coast 
crosses  a  succession  of  streams,  coming  down  out  of 
the  Lebanon,  with  remains  of  various  ancient  Phoe- 
nician towns,  now  reproduced  usually  by  small  Arab 
villages.  Among  these  is  the  rather  larger  settle- 
ment of  El-Jiya,  where,  according  to  a  Moslem 
tradition,  Jonah  was  cast  ashore  by  the  whale.  Far- 
ther northward  the  broad  cliff  of  the  Has  Beyrout 
projects  into  the  sea,  making  a  massive  promontory, 
behind  which  is  St.  George's  Bay,  and  here,  in  the 
sheltered  position  thus  afforded,  and  well  protected 
by  the  bold  promontory,  is  the  best  haven  on  the 
Syrian  coast,  the  harbor  of  Beyrout.  As  at  other 
places,  however,  the  landing  is  made  in  small  boats, 
though  it  is  usually  more  orderly.  The  oarsmen  are 
clad  in  all  sorts  of  odd  and  bright  costumes.  The 
ample  trade  of  this  port  has  attracted  an  extensive 
population,  estimated  at  150,000,  the  Moslems  here 
being  the  minority.  The  city  has  a  beautiful  sit- 
uation, the  houses  rising  in  terraces  on  the  hill  slopes, 
on  the  southern  border  of  the  bay,  enclosed  between 
the  Eas  Beyrout  and  the  heights  of  St.  Dimitri  to 
the  eastward,  a  long  breakwater  protecting  the  inner 
harbor  from  the  northwestern  gales.  The  noble 
bastion  of  the  Lebanon  range  rises  to  the  eastward, 


304  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  its  snow-covered  summits,  with  the  cooling  sea 
breezes,  temper  the  summer  heats,  so  that  the  climate 
is  always  mild,  while  in  the  very  hot  season  the 
people  go  to  the  adjacent  mountain  resorts;  so  that 
Beyrout  is  regarded  as  the  healthiest  city  of  Syria. 
The  townsfolk  are  very  enterprising,  and  French 
is  now  their  principal  language,  gradually  supplant- 
ing the  Italian  formerly  generally  spoken.  This 
harbor  is  the  chief  entrepot  for  the  interior  of  Syria, 
and  it  exports  silk,  cotton,  fruits,  olive  oil,  sponges 
and  cattle.  Beyrout  is  a  large  city  with  extensive 
modern  quarters  that  are  attractive,  but  a  rather 
repulsive  older  town  with  narrow  streets  and  few 
objects  of  interest.  A  railroad  leads  over  the  two 
Lebanon  ranges  from  Beyrout  to  Damascus,  and  has 
greatly  added  to  the  trade  of  the  city.  There  is 
also  an  excellent  post  road,  built  by  the  French, 
between  the  two  cities,  covering  the  distance  in 
about  seventy  miles.  On  this  route  go  long  trains 
of  freight  wagons,  occupying  about  forty  hours  in 
the  journey,  but  it  is  a  toll  highway,  and  much  of 
the  traffic  still  laboriously  follows  the  rough  and 
ancient  trail,  through  the  mountain  passes,  that  for 
many  centuries  has  been  the  caravan  path  for  camels, 
donkeys  and  pack-mules.  The  camel  is  the  chief 
burden  bearer  on  these  Syrian  roads,  and  in  the 
busy  season  they  can  be  counted  by  thousands. 
They  usually  travel  in  long  lines,  fifty  or  more,  each 
being  led  by  a  rope  tied  to  the  saddle  of  the  one  in 


SYRIAN  COAST  CITIES  305 

front,  the  head  of  the  procession  being  usually  a  di- 
minutive donkey,  ridden  by  an  Arab  whose  broad  red 
shoes  almost  hang  down  to  the  ground.  A  camel 
moves  two  and  a  half  to  three  miles  an  hour,  a  day's 
journey  approximating  twenty-five  miles.  This 
patient  beast  carries  most  ungainly  burdens,  such  as 
iron  beams,  telegraph  poles  and  huge  cans,  while 
occasionally  a  piano  will  be  taken  on  a  camel's  back, 
from  Beyrout  through  the  mountain  passes  to  some 
wealthy  Damascene.  The  locomotive  has  not  yet 
made  much  progress  in  Syria  in  superseding  the 
camel-driver  and  the  muleteer. 

Upon  the  sea  front  of  the  Ras  Beyrout  are  beauti- 
ful caves,  known  as  the  Pigeons'  Grottoes,  one  of 
them  penetrating  the  rock  about  one  hundred  and 
thirty  feet,  the  interior  rising  sixty-five  feet.  These 
caves  face  the  westward,  and  just  before  sunset  the 
play  of  the  declining  rays  upon  the  rippling  waters 
wdthin  gives  superb  coloring.  Along  the  coast, 
about  seven  miles  to  the  northeastward,  is  the 
Nahr  el  Kelb,  or  Dog  River,  whence  comes  the  city's 
modern  water  supply.  This  stream  was  the  Grecian 
Lycos,  or  "  Wolf  River,"  and  flows  through  a  deep 
and  pretty  ravine  from  the  Sannin  summit  of  the 
Lebanon  to  the  sea,  the  tradition  being  that  its 
present  name  came  from  a  gigantic  stone  dog,  stand- 
ing on  a  cliff  at  the  coast,  which  barked  when  an 
enemy  approached.  At  the  crossing  of  this  river, 

which  was  a  strategic  pass,  fought  for  during  many 
VOL.  11—20 


306  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

ages,  are  Egyptian,  Assyrian  and  other  inscriptions 
and  sculptures,  carved  on  rocks  high  above  the 
present  bridge,  showing  the  existence  of  an  earlier 
road,  the  Egyptian  carving  referring  to  the  cam- 
paigns of  Sesostris,  B.  C.  1324.  The  Romans  had  a 
stone  paved  road  here  in  the  second  century  A.  D., 
which  was  their  chief  highway  to  northern  Syria. 
In  many  wars  there  were  bloody  contests  for  the  con- 
trol of  the  crossing  of  this  Dog  River  ravine.  The 
name  of  St.  George's  Bay  was  given  to  this  indenta- 
tion of  the  Mediterranean,  because  the  tradition  is 
that  on  its  shores  St.  George  had  his  famous  combat 
with  the  dragon,  and  near  the  sea,  on  the  eastern  'edge 
of  the  city,  are  the  ruins  of  St.  George's  Chapel, 
which  is  said  to  have  been  built  on  the  exact  spot 
where  the  hero  slew  the  monster,  to  protect  the  king's 
daughter,  whose  life  was  thus  saved.  St.  George 
was  an  early  martyr  to  Roman  persecution  of  the 
Christians,  having  been  slain  at  Antioch,  April  23, 
303.  He  was  born  in  Cappadocia,  and  is  regarded  as 
one  of  the  greatest  Christian  heroes,  his  martyrdom 
having  been  the  origin  of  St.  George's  Day. 

The  popular  summer  resorts  of  Beyrout  are  on  the 
terraces  of  the  Lebanon,  having  a  grand  outlook  over 
the  city  and  its  gardens,  with  the  beautiful  sea 
beyond.  Hither  also  come  many  sojourners,  from 
Cyprus  and  Egypt,  seeking  relief  from  the  torrid 
heats,  in  the  villas  and  modern  hotels  in  the  elevated 
villages  of  Beit  Meri,  Aleih  and  Brummana,  the 


SYRIAN  COAST  CITIES  307 

mountain  behind  them  rising  into  the  noble  Sannin 
summit,  8,560  feet  high.  The  venerable  antiquity 
of  most  of  the  Phoenician  towns  does  not  seem  to  be 
shared  by  Beyrout,  for  while  it  existed  as  a  small 
settlement,  known  by  the  name  of  Berytus,  yet  it  was 
not  important  until  after  the  Christian  era,  and  its 
famous  law  school  was  not  established  until  the  third 
century.  It  then  became  a  prominent  silk  manu- 
factory, which  trade  has  since  continued,  the  mul- 
berry plantations  being  a  feature  of  the  surround- 
ing district.  It  went  through  all  the  Moslem 
and  Crusaders'  wars,  and  was  Fakhreddin's  favorite 
residence,  in  the  sixteenth  century.  The  excellent 
harbor  is  its  chief  asset,  and  has  brought  wonderful 
prosperity  in  recent  years,  by  drawing  away  the  trade 
of  Sidon  and  other  Syrian  ports.  The  railway 
southeastward  to  Damascus  is  also  a  good  feeder, 
though  this  is  only  a  narrow  gauge  line,  and  much  of 
it  a  rack-and-pinion  road,  in  the  steep  ravines  of  the 
Lebanon.  This  road  is  ninety-one  miles  long,  and 
the  "  express  trains  "  occupy  nine  hours  in  accom- 
plishing the  journey  between  the  cities  of  Beyrout 
and  Damascus.  The  route  is  very  picturesque, 
crossing  the  Lebanon  summit  in  a  tunnel  at  4,880 
feet  elevation,  then  descending  to  the  plain  of  El- 
Bika,  or  the  "  lowland,"  between  the  mountain 
ranges.  The  road  is  constructed  through  the  spurs 
of  the  summits  of  Tomat  Mha,  "  the  twins  of  Niha," 
where  the  Litani  forces  its  passage  in  a  splendid 


308  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

ravine.  This  vale  between  the  mountains  was 
anciently  called  Ccele-Syria,  or  "  hollow  Syria,"  a 
title  that  ultimately  was  used  to  designate  the  whole 
of  Syria.  After  crossing  the  Litani  a  branch  rail- 
way goes  eastward,  over  the  desert,  to  Baalbek,  and 
then  the  route  runs  to  the  Anti-Lebanon  range,  to  the 
summit  pass  at  4,610  feet  elevation,  afterward  turn- 
ing southward  down  the  Barada.  Here  is  ancient 
Abila,  and  upon  an  adjacent  hill  is  Xebi  Habil. 
Tradition  says  this  is  the  spot  where  Cain,  called 
Ivabil,  slew  his  brother  Abel,  or  Habil,  according  to 
the  Koran.  The  railway  finally  proceeds  southeast, 
down  the  Barada  valley,  to  Damascus. 

From  Beyrout,  northward  along  the  coast,  is  the 
old  caravan  route  to  the  cities  of  northern  Syria. 
It  encircles  St.  George's  Bay,  crosses  the  Dog  River, 
and  then  rounds  the  Bay  of  Juneh.  Here  the  Xahr 
Ibrahim,  the  ancient  Adonis  River,  comes  down 
through  a  picturesque  ravine,  a  vigorous  mountain 
torrent.  This  river  descends  from  the  Springs  of 
Adonis,  a  copious  source  in  the  spurs  of  the  Lebanon, 
the  principal  spring  flowing  out  of  a  cavern,  and 
the  stream  going  over  fine  waterfalls.  Here  is  the 
village  of  Afka,  the  ancient  Apheca,  where  there  was 
a  famous  Temple  of  Venus,  which  the  Emperor 
Constantine  destroyed.  Adonis  was  believed  to  have 
been  slain  by  a  wild  boar,  and  the  myth  of  Venus 
and  Adonis  was  here  localized.  In  times  of  flood, 
the  water  is  colored  red,  from  the  detritus  brought 


SYRIAN  COAST  CITIES  309 

out,  and  the  tinge  thus  given  was  anciently  regarded 
as  the  blood  of  the  slain  Adonis.  Farther  north- 
ward, on  the  coast,  is  the  village  of  Jebeil,  where 
lived  the  Giblites,  in  the  larger  city  of  Gebal,  these 
people  being  described  in  the  Old  Testament  as 
"  hewers  of  stone "  and  skilled  in  shipbuilding. 
This  place  claimed  to  be  one  of  the  oldest  in  the 
world,  and  to  be  founded  by  Baal,  the  Greeks  calling 
it  Byblos.  It  was  the  chief  shrine  of  the  Phoenician 
paganism  cult,  in  which  the  prominent  ceremonial 
was  the  mourning  for  the  slain  Adonis,  and  to  it  pil- 
grims came  from  all  parts  of  the  Phoenician  world. 
Here  was  born  Philo  of  Byblos,  who  has  recorded  its 
fame,  and  the  extensive  ruins  and  adjacent  necropolis 
attest  the  great  size  of  the  ancient  city,  where  now, 
however,  are  barely  a  thousand  people.  It  was  a 
stronghold  of  the  Crusaders,  when  captured  by 
Saladin,  in  1188.  There  survive  a  partly  ruined 
castle,  built  of  older  materials  by  the  Crusaders,  and 
a  fine  Maronite  Church  of  St.  John,  of  the  early 
twelfth  century.  The  harbor,  like  all  on  this  coast, 
has  islands  in  front,  once  defended  by  fortifications, 
and  with  heaps  of  broken  columns  all  about.  The 
foundations  of  a  temple,  in  the  suburbs,  are  believed 
to  have  been  part  of  the  sanctuary  of  Adonis,  and  in 
rock  tombs  and  elsewhere  are  Egyptian  and  Babylo- 
nian remains. 

Farther  northward  is  Batnm,  with  a  diminutive 
harbor,  and  having  about  five  thousand  population, 


310  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

mostly  Christians.  Like  the  other  towns,  it  displays 
rock  tombs  and  sarcophagi  in  various  places,  the  chief 
feature  being  a  picturesque  medieval  castle.  This 
was  Botrys,  founded  by  the  Phoenicians,  in  the  time 
of  Nebuchadnezzar,  as  a  frontier  fort,  for  the  defence 
of  their  northern  caravan  route  along  the  coast. 
Several  villages  are  farther  on,  and  picturesque  cliffs 
protrude  into  the  sea.  The  massive  promontory  of 
Ras  Shakka,  the  ancient  Theouprosapon,  is  a  noble 
headland,  the  name  meaning  "  God's  visage,"  and 
upon  and  near  it  are  several  Greek  monasteries. 
This  grand  cliff  guards  an  extensive  bay,  deeply 
indented  in  the  rocky  coast,  and  having  as  its  north- 
eastern bastion  another  promontory  terminating  in 
a  ponderous  projection,  whereon  is  the  village  of 
Enfeh,  or  "  the  nose."  Northeastward  is  yet  another 
headland,  El-Mina,  with  a  group  of  outlying  islands, 
this  being  the  port  of  Tripoli,  which  is  located  in  the 
interior  —  the  Tarabulus  of  Islam  —  about  forty 
thousand  people,  mostly  Moslems,  living  in  the  city 
and  the  port.  There  are,  however,  in  Tripoli,  as 
many  Christian  churches  as  mosques,  though  the 
decaying  trade,  drawn  off  by  the  greater  attractions 
and  better  railroad  connexions  of  Beyrout,  has  of 
late  years  rather  reduced  the  Christian  population. 
Silk  weaving,  soap  making,  tobacco  and  fruit  raising 
are  now  the  chief  industries,  and  the  surrounding 
district  is  extremely  fertile.  The  river  Kadisha 
flows  along  the  western  verge  of  Tripoli,  and  thence 


SYRIAN  COAST  CITIES 

northward  to  the  sea,  and  among  the  features  of  the 
place  are  the  six  medieval  defensive  towers,  built  on 
the  coast,  from  the  river  westward  to  the  port.  They 
are  of  ancient  materials,  and  the  best  preserved  is 
the  Burj  es  Seba,  the  "  lion-tower,"  which  has  a 
spacious  arch  and  interesting  windows. 

The  townspeople  call  Tripoli  "  the  little  Da- 
mascus," and  most  of  the  narrow  streets  have  arcades 
and  an  old-time  appearance,  while  the  structures 
gradually  ascend,  in  terraced  rows,  from  the  river 
bank  to  the  castle.  Tarabulus  is  believed  to  have 
been  founded  about  700  B.  C.,  and  it  was  then  close 
to  the  sea,  but  nothing  remains  now  of  the  original 
buildings.  The  Moslems  got  possession,  and  the 
Crusaders,  under  Count  Raymond  of  Toulouse, 
began  a  siege  in  1104,  but  their  dissensions  delayed 
the  capture  for  five  years.  In  the  siege,  to  prevent 
relief,  the  castle  was  built  on  the  hill  inland,  rising 
abruptly  from  the  river,  known  as  St.  Giles,  and  this 
resulted  in  the  changed  location  of  the  place.  The 
captors  held  it  nearly  two  centuries,  and  in  1289  it 
fell  to  the  Turks,  who  enlarged  the  interior  town 
located  around  the  castle.  It  then  had  an  enormous 
silk  industry  employing  four  thousand  looms. 

Among  the  curiosities  of  Tripoli  is  the  Der- 
wishiyeh,  a  monastery  at  the  base  of  the  castle  hill, 
occupied  by  the  dancing  or  spinning  dervishes.' 
These  are  religious  devotees  of  the  Mohammedan 
faith,  there  being  some  forty  different  orders.  There 


312  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

are  howling  and  dancing  dervishes,  the  latter  being 
held  in  the  higher  esteem,  and  being  the  wealthiest  of 
the  Turkish  religious  bodies.  The  name  comes  from 
the  Persian,  and  means  "  the  sill  of  the  door,"  or 
"  those  who  beg  from  door  to  door,"  in  allusion  to  the 
mendicancy  of  wandering  dervishes.  The  dancing 
is  conducted  to  the  sounds  of  music,  at  first  with  slow 
movement,  but  growing  in  animation  until  they 
become  so  exhausted  they  have  to  sit  or  fall  down, 
afterward  repeating  the  dance;  this  being  done 
several  times,  and  the  ceremony  concluding  with  a 
sermon  by  the  sheik,  who  is  generally  credited  with 
possessing  miraculous  powers.  The  howling  der- 
vishes accompany  their  dancing  with  loud  shouts  of 
the  name  of  Allah,  and  violent  contortions  of  the 
body,  much  as  in  epileptic  fits.  They  thus  work 
themselves  into  a  frenzy,  and  perform  extraordinary 
feats.  They  sometimes  become  so  intense  that  they 
roll  head  over  heels  for  hundreds  of  miles,  and  one 
order  of  contortionists  is  said  to  "  contemplate  the 
tip  of  the  nose  from  eighty-four  different  positions." 
The  spinning  dervish  executes  a  pirouette  on  the  left 
heel,  with  the  arms  outstretched  and  the  eyes  closed. 
Not  long  ago  one  of  them,  in  New  York,  giving 
exhibitions,  whirled  around  four  thousand  times  in 
an  hour.  Canon  Rawnsley  has  given,  in  his  "  Danc- 
'  ing  Dervishes,"  a  vivid  picture  of  these  whirling 
devotees,  with  their  fanatic  countenances,  shrill 
music,  and  expansive  never-touching  skirts : 


SYRIAN  COAST  CITIES  313 

The  shrillest  pipe  man  ever  played 

Was   making  music  overhead, 

And  in  a  circle,   down  below, 

Sat  men  whose  faces  seemed  to  show 

Another  world  was  all  their  trade. 

Then  up  they  rose,  and  one  by  one, 

Shook  skirts  down,   following  him  who  led 

To  where  the  elder  brother  sat  — 

All  gabardine  and  comic  hat, 

Then  bowed,  and  off  for  Heaven  they  spun. 

Their  hands  were  crossed  upon  their  breast, 
Their  eyes  were  closed  as  if  for  sleep, 
The  naked  foot  that  beat  the  floor, 
To  keep  them  spinning  more  and  more, 
Was  careless  of  all  need  for  rest. 

Soon  every  flowing  skirt  began 
Its  milk-white  spinning  plane  to  keep, 
Each  brother  of  the  holy  band 
Spun  in  and  out  with  lifted  hand, 
A  teetotum,  no  longer  man. 

The  gray  old  man,  their  leader,  went 
Throughout  his  spinning  fellowship, 
And  reverently  to  the  ear, 
Of  every  dervish  circling  near, 
He  spake  a  soft  encouragement. 

The  piper  piped  a  shriller  psalm, 
The  dancers  thro'  their  mystery  moved, 
Untouched,   untouching,   and  the  twirl 
That  set  our  giddy  heads  awhirl 
Served  but  to  give  their  faces  calm. 

The  caravan  route,  from  Tripoli  to  Baalbek  and 
Damascus,  lias  been  travelled  during  thousands  of 


314  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

years,  southeastward  over  the  Lebanon,  following  up 
the  Kadisha  vale,  into  the  mountain  ravines.  It 
passes  over  a  well  cultivated  country,  with  many  small 
villages,  and  caverns  in  the  rocky  gorges,  formerly 
used  as  retreats  by  the  monks.  Here,  at  the 
monastery  of  Kannobin,  built  romantically  on  the 
cliffs,  high  above  the  Kadisha,  is  the  seat  of  the  patri- 
archs of  the  Maronite  church,  the  prevalent  religion 
in  this  region.  The  monastery  dates  from  the  fourth 
century.  Higher  up  is  Ehden,  a  flourishing 
Maronite  town,  and  beyond  is  the  top  of  the  Lebanon 
range,  impressive  in  its  magnificence,  the  pass  cross- 
ing the  Jebel  el  Arz,  or  Cedar  Mountain,  at  7,700 
feet  elevation,  while  to  the  northward  the  ridge 
rises  in  three  bold  snow-covered  summits,  exceeding 
10,000  feet.  Upon  the  side  of  the  highest  of  these, 
the  Dehr  el  Kodib,  elevated  10,050  feet,  is  the  head 
spring  of  the  Kadisha,  the  "  sacred  river."  Farther 
down  its  gorge,  at  a  height  of  6,300  feet,  are  still 
preserved  the  few  survivors  of  the  famous  "  Cedars 
of  Lebanon."  There  are  about  four  hundred  trees 
in  the  group,  the  tallest  being  eighty  feet  high,  and 
the  largest  forty-seven  feet  in  circumference.  With- 
in the  grove  is  a  Maronite  chapel,  and  the  people  hold 
an  appropriate  festival  in  August.  These  famous 
trees  were  always  admired  by  the  Israelites,  as  no 
cedars  grew  in  their  own  land,  to  the  southward,  and 
there  are  numerous  references  to  them  in  Scripture. 
They  formerly  covered  the  greater  part  of  the 


SYRIAN  COAST  CITIES  315 

mountain  slopes,  but  have  been  nearly  all  cut 
off.  To  the  northward,  the  Lebanon  range  extends 
at  a  lower  elevation,  this  less  stately  ridge  being 
known  as  the  Nosairiyeh. 

The  coast  plain,  beyond  Tripoli,  encircles  the  bay 
of  Jun  Akkar,  and  is  well  cultivated,  being  called 
Juniyeh,  or  "  the  corner."  The  caravan  route  north- 
ward continues  near  the  coast,  crossing  the  Barid, 
or  "  cold  river,"  having  on  its  bank  the  ruins  of 
ancient  Orthosia,  mentioned  in  Maccabees.  Farther 
along  is  the  larger  i^ahr  el  Kebir,  "  the  great  river," 
which  was  the  ancient  Eleutheros,  and  the  northern 
boundary  of  the  territory  of  the  Phoenicians.  Upon 
the  inland  hilltops  are  perched  various  castles  built 
by  the  Crusaders.  Off  the  coast  are  two  islands, 
Hebles,  and  north  of  it,  ancient  Aradus,  now  Ruad, 
and  between  these  comes  out  the  Kahr  el  Kibleh, 
which  just  before  debouching  into  the  sea  receives  the 
!Kahr  Amrit.  The  latter  name  is  derived  from 
Marathus,  the  extensive  city  which,  in  the  early 
times,  covered  the  surface  all  about  the  neighborhood 
of  both  rivers.  To-day  this  region  is  little  more  than 
a  wide  expanse  of  tombs,  rock-caves,  shrines, 
pyramids  and  other  remains  of  its  spacious  necrop- 
olis. The  first  king  of  Aradus  founded  the  city  in 
the  dim  past,  and  the  Aradians  peopled  it,  entering 
into  a  league  with  the  Phoenicians.  It  was  still 
prosperous  in  the  time  of  Alexander,  but  had  ceased 
to  be  of  importance  in  the  Roman  days.  There  are 


316  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

remains  of  a  large  stadium  and  amphitheatre,  but 
the  place  has  not  been  a  human  habitation  for  nearly 
two  thousand  years. 

A  short  distance  farther  northward  is  Tartus,  the 
ancient  Tortosa,  which  was  another  Aradian  colony, 
that  people  being  described,  in  the  book  of  Ezekiel, 
as  skilful  mariners  and  brave  soldiers.  All  the 
Aradian  colonies,  and  there  were  several  on  this  part 
of  the  coast,  submitted  to  Alexander,  King  Strato 
giving  up  his  dominions,  which  then  extended  north 
to  the  Orontes.  Opposite  the  island  town  of  Aradus 
they  had  built  Antaradus,  which  in  time  became  the 
more  important  place,  and  in  the  middle  ages 
changed  its  name  to  Tortosa,  the  Crusaders  making 
it  a  stronghold,  and  the  Templars  were  not  driven 
out  until  1291,  this  being  the  last  place  they  held  in 
Syria.  At  present,  the  remains  of  the  town  walls 
are  over  a  mile  in  circuit,  and  the  people  mostly  live 
within  the  old  castle,  built  by  the  Crusaders,  a 
structure  five  hundred  feet  long,  having  double  walls 
and  moats  on  all  sides,  excepting  where  fronting  the 
sea.  There  is  still  preserved  in  the  town  the  hand- 
some Crusaders'  Church,  an  attractive  structure. 
Off  shore,  upon  Aradus,  now  Kuad,  live  about  two 
thousand  people,  mostly  sponge-fishers  and  watermen. 
A  broad  wall  encloses  most  of  the  island  and  the 
village,  excepting  on  the  harbor  side,  the  rocky 
central  ridge  being  about  a  half  mile  long,  and 
having  on  its  summit  a  large  castle  built  by  the 


SYRIAX  COAST  CITIES  317 

Turks.  On  the  mainland,  at  some  distance  above, 
is  Baniyas,  an  almost  deserted  place,  which  was  the 
Balanaia  of  Strabo,  at  the  outlet  of  the  Valania  River, 
and  a  stronghold  of  the  Knights  of  St.  John,  this 
stream,  in  their  time,  forming  the  boundary  between 
the  Crusaders'  Kingdom  of  Jerusalem  and  the 
province  of  Antioch.  About  four  miles  inland  is  El- 
Merkab,  or  the  "  watch  tower,"  an  enormous  castle, 
occupying  the  spacious  summit  of  a  rock,  at  nearly 
one  thousand  feet  elevation.  It  is  a  huge  construc- 
tion, seen  from  afar,  and  having  a  tower  rising  sixty- 
six  feet,  that  contains  a  Gothic  chapel,  now  a  mosque. 
No  one  knows  who  built  it,  yet  it  was  able  to  accom- 
modate two  thousand  families  and  one  thousand 
horses  in  the  time  of  the  Crusaders,  being  captured 
from  the  Knights  Hospitallers  by  the  Saracens  in 
1285.  About  fifteen  hundred  people  now  live  in  this 
fortress. 

The  ruins  of  ancient  Paltus  are  northward  on  the 
coast,  this  having  been  an  Aradian  colony,  and  beyond 
the  village  of  Jebelah,  formerly  the  Byzantine  castle 
of  Gabala,  and  afterward  held  by  the  Crusaders. 
It  presents  various  rock-tombs  and  Roman  remains. 
This  is  a  dangerous  district,  infested  by  origands, 
who  swoop  down  upon  the  traveller  from  the 
Kosairiyeh  mountains,  and  the  local  government  is 
very  weak.  Some  distance  farther  is  Ladikiyeh, 
where  about  twenty-two  thousand  Turks  and  Greeks 
live,  in  a  poor  town,  that  has,  however,  a  pleasant  sit- 


318  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

uation,  on  a  fertile  plain  near  the  sea,  where  they 
raise  tobacco,  manufacture  silk,  and  gather  sponges 
from  the  reefs.  This  was  a  famous  place  of  old, 
though  the  ruins  show  it  to  have  then  been  located 
nearer  the  sea  than  now.  Originally  called  Ramatha 
by  the  Phoenicians,  it  became  better  known  as  Laodi- 
cea,  when  Alexander's  famous  general  Seleucus  Nica- 
tor  rebuilt  and  embellished  it,  as  one  of  the  six  cities 
he  founded  in  honor  of  his  mother,  Laodice.  It  was 
excellently  situated  for  trade,  being  fronted  by 
Cyprus,  which  can  be  dimly  seen  at  the  western 
Mediterranean  horizon.  In  the  early  Christian  era 
it  became  the  prosperous  port  of  Antioch.  The 
Byzantines  held  it,  and  Tancred  got  possession  in  the 
twelfth  century,  it  being  afterward  devastated  by  an 
earthquake,  Saladin  destroying  it  later.  The  city 
revived,  but  another  earthquake  came  in  1287,  and 
the  Turks  immediately  captured  it.  There  are  inter- 
esting ruins  and  a  small  harbor,  protected  by  the  far- 
extending  promontory  of  Ladikiyeh,  on  its  northern 
side.  The  trade  is  small  now,  however,  commerce 
having  been  mostly  diverted  elsewhere. 

The  range  of  Nosairiyeh  Mountains,  rising  behind 
Ladikiyeh,  being  so  much  lower  in  elevation  than  the 
Lebanon,  are  not  very  impressive,  but  their  foothills 
come  out  to  the  sea,  north  of  the  city,  protruding  in 
long  cliffs  with  intervening  bays.  Prominent  among 
these  promontories  is  the  Ras  el  Buseit,  the  ancient 
Posidium,  and  beyond  it  is  a  broad  bay,  into  which 


SYRIAN  COAST  CITIES  319 

the  Orontes  empties,  the  chief  river  of  north  Syria, 
which  comes  out  from  behind  the  mountain  range, 
breaking  through  a  picturesque  pass.  To  the  south- 
ward of  the  Orontes  rises  the  bare  and  rounded 
summit  of  the  most  prominent  mountain  of  northern 
Syria,  elevated  about  5,400  feet,  and  a  conspicuous 
landmark.  This  is  the  Jebel  el  Akra,  or  the  "  naked 
mountain,"  a  peak  which  in  the  ancient  times  was 
always  held  sacred.  It  was  then  known  as  Mount 
Casius,  and  here  was  erected  an  altar  for  the  worship 
of  Zeus  Casius,  both  by  the  Greeks  and  the  Romans. 
Hadrian  ascended  this  summit  to  get  the  grand  view, 
while  afterward  Julian  the  Apostate  went  up,  and 
offered  sacrifices  at  the  altar.  Its  outlook  is  all 
around  the  horizon,  with  distant  Cyprus  seen  over 
the  Mediterranean  westward,  the  snow-crowned 
Taurus  range  of  Asia  Minor  northwest  and  north, 
its  lower  offshoot,  the  Amanus,  being  nearer  to  us, 
and  coming  out  to  the  coast,  beyond  the  Orontes,  in 
the  broad  mass  of  the  Jebel  Musa,  its  ponderous  bases 
being  washed  by  the  sea.  Toward  the  eastward 
spreads  the  fertile  plain  of  Antioch,  along  the  river 
intervale,  having  the  glistening  Lake  of  Antioch  far 
to  the  northeast.  In  the  distant  south  rise  the  white 
summits  of  the  massive  Lebanon  range,  having  the 
Orontes  winding  through  the  deep  depression  behind 
them. 

Seleucus  Kicator,  who  founded  Laodicea,  at  the 
height    of    his    career    governed    an    empire    that 


320  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

stretched  from  Babylonia  and  Persia  to  Asia  Minor, 
and  he  established  many  other  cities,  being  the 
earliest  of  the  noted  dynasty  of  the  Selucidae. 
Seleucus,  in  his  conquests,  advanced  into  India,  going 
ever  farther  than  Alexander,  and  hence  gained  the 
title  of  Nicator.  His  dynasty  was  one  of  the  most 
powerful  that  ruled  in  the  Persian  empire.  Upon 
the  northern  verge  of  the  broad  alluvial  plain  of  the 
Orontes,  which  then  had  an  enormous  population, 
attracted  by  its  luxuriance  and  fertility,  Seleucus 
founded  another  city  and  port,  Seleucia  Pieria. 
Crossing  over  the  river  and  the  plain,  we  reach,  at  the 
edge  of  the  sea,  the  little  village  of  Suweidiyeh, 
whose  people  get  a  scant  living  by  piloting  visitors 
over  the  ruins  of  this  ancient  city,  which  are  a  short 
distance  to  the  northwest.  It  was  handsome  and 
extensive,  and  its  spacious  port  was  dug  out  of  the 
plain,  with  a  canal  fifteen  hundred  feet  long  leading 
to  the  sea,  the  outlet  being  protected  by  exterior 
moles.  The  Romans  enlarged  the  harbor,  by  exca- 
vations in  the  rocky  bases  of  the  Amanus  foothills, 
but  on  the  decline  of  the  Roman  empire  the  place 
lost  all  its  importance.  When  the  Moslems  con- 
trolled, Suweidiyeh  became  the  port  of  Antioch,  and 
the  Crusaders  made  it  their  landing  place,  calling  it 
St.  Simeon's  harbor.  For  the  last  fifteen  centuries 
Seleucia  has  been  nothing  but  a  ruin.  Visitors  now 
can  see  the  abandoned  harbor,  an  oval  basin  partly 
filled  up,  the  choked  canal,  the  projecting  moles  in 


SYRIAN  COAST  CITIES  321 

partial  ruin,  the  southern  one,  which  is  best  pre- 
served, being  named  after  St.  Paul.  It  is  recorded 
in  The  Acts  that  when  St.  Paul  started  upon  his 
great  missionary  tour,  he  and  Barnabas  came  here 
from  Antioch,  of  which  Seleucia  was  then  the  port, 
and  departed  for  Cyprus.  Here  also  are  remains  of 
watch-towers  and  storehouses.  A  great  channel  still 
exists,  two-thirds  of  a  mile  long,  with  deep  rock  cut- 
tings and  tunnels,  that  brought  down  the  water  from 
the  hills,  to  serve  the  town  and  supply  the  harbor,  a 
huge  wall  across  the  interior  valley  making  the  dam 
to  store  it  for  the  dry  seasons.  There  are  rock-tombs, 
remains  of  the  town  walls  and  gates,  which  were 
strongly  fortified,  and  many  remnants  of  temples 
and  fine  buildings,  with  groups  of  columns.  These 
represented  the  grandeur  of  the  Selucidse,  but  the 
latter  were  conquered  by  the  Ptolemies  of  Egypt  and 
later  by  the  Romans,  and  all  their  glory  has  long  ago 
departed. 

The  broad  and  spacious  Jebel  Musa,  the  "  hill  of 
Moses,"  richly  green  and  well  wooded,  projects  far 
into  the  sea  to  the  northwest  of  the  Orontes  outlet, 
this  having  been  the  ancient  Promontorium  Rhosi- 
cum,  and  now  known  to  the  Arabs  as  the  Ras  el 
Kandzir,  or  the  "  swine's  promontory."  The  mas- 
sive mountain  itself,  stretching  far  back  toward  the 
northeast  to  join  the  higher  Taurus  range,  was  the 
Mons  Rhosus  of  the  Romans.  Behind  it,  between 

northern  Syria  and  Asia  Minor,  the  Mediterranean 
VOL.  11—21 


322  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

terminates  in  its  northeastern  bay,  and  a  most  beauti- 
ful land-locked  inland  water,  the  Issicus  Sinus,  now 
known  as  Alexandretta  Bay.  When  Alexander  the 
Great  won  his  important  victory -at  Issus,  333  B.  C., 
he  determined  to  found  a  city  to  celebrate  it,  and 
established  Alexandria  in  a  lovely  situation  sur- 
rounded by  a  girdle  of  green  hills,  the  lower  slopes 
of  a  mountain  amphitheatre  of  the  Taurus,  on  the 
eastern  shore  of  this  bay,  then  known  as  the  Mons 
Amanus.  The  place  was  intended  to  be  the  port  for 
the  caravan  route  eastward  into  Mesopotamia  and 
interior  Asia.  Soon  afterward,  however,  Alex- 
ander conquered  more  and  greater  countries,  and 
established  another  city  of  Alexandria,  in  Egypt. 
Then  the  reign  of  Seleucus  ISTicator  came,  and  he 
changed  the  Asian  caravan  route  to  his  new  port  of 
Seleucia  Pieria,  and  to  Antioch,  up  the  Orontes. 
This  change  of  travel  caused  the  Syrian  Alexandria 
to  decline,  and  it  came  to  be  known  as  "  little  Alex- 
andria," or  Alexandretta,  and  sometimes  as  Alex- 
andria Scdbiosa,  from  the  prevalence  of  leprosy.  It 
was  often  attacked  and  severely  suffered  in  various 
wars,  but  to-day  is  a  quiet  and  beautiful  town,  of 
about  twelve  thousand  people,  upon  the  most  spacious 
harbor  of  Syria,  there  still  being  a  considerable  trade, 
much  of  it  with  the  people  of  Aleppo.  Visitors  are 
deterred,  however,  by  the  unhealthiness  of  the  dis- 
trict, as  fevers  prevail,  and  the  yellow-hued  com- 
plexions of  the  people  are  not  attractive. 


ALEXANDRETTA  TO  ALEPPO  323 


ALEXANDRETTA    TO    ALEPPO. 

Leaving  the  coast  and  its  many  ruined  cities,  we 
enter  the  interior  of  Syria  by  the  caravan  route  from 
Alexandretta  to  Aleppo,  a  road  of  over  a  hundred 
miles,  though  some  detours  by  steep  bridle  paths  can, 
if  taken,  make  a  shorter  way  in  the  mountain  passes. 
It  gradually  mounts  the  slopes  of  the  Amanus  range, 
crossing  the  summit  pass  at  2,400  feet  elevation,  high 
above  the  extensive  Lake  of  Antioch,  which  nestles 
far  below,  in  the  vale  to  the  southward.  This  lake 
receives  many  tributaries,  and  its  level  changes  con- 
siderably in  the  wet  and  dry  seasons,  the  outlet  stream 
going  off  southward  to  the  Orpntes.  The  summit 
pass  is  the  famous  Pylse  Syriai,  through  which  Alex- 
ander, after  the  victory  at  Issus,  marched  his  army 
for  the  conquest  of  Persia.  The  route  descends  on 
the  eastern  side,  to  the  far  spreading  plain  of  Anti- 
och, through  which  the  Orontes  flows.  This  plain 
is  called  El  Amk,  or  the  "  depression,"  and  on  its 
farther  verge  rise  the  Kurd  Mountains.  In  the  hills 
north  of  the  plain  recent  extensive  excavations  have 
disclosed  the  ancient  Hittite  town  of  Sam'al.  The 
citadel  hill  was  surrounded  by  two  city  walls,  the  in- 
ner dating  from  the  thirteenth  century  B.  C.,  and  the 
outer  from  the  eighth  century,  and  they  bear  Hittite 
reliefs  and  inscriptions.  Many  of  the  curiosities 
found  here  are  now  in  the  Berlin  and  Constantinople 
Museums.  It  was  on  this  plain  of  Antioch  that  the 


324  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Roman  Emperor  Aurelian  defeated  the  famous 
Queen  Zenobia,  of  Palmyra,  in  A.  D.  273,  and  the 
fair  warrior  captive  graced  his  subsequent  triumphal 
march  in  Rome.  Beyond  the  plain  the  route 
crosses  another  mountain  ridge,  and  it  finally  de- 
scends to  the  valley  of  the  Kuweik  River,  entering 
Aleppo  by  the  Antakiyeh  (Antioch)  gate. 

The  river  Afrin,  one  of  the  most  considerable  af- 
fluents of  the  Lake  of  Antioch,  comes  from  the  north- 
east through  the  plain,  and  high  above  its  eastern 
bank,  and  northward  from  the  caravan  route,  rises 
the  Jebel  Barakat,  on  the  northern  slope  of  which 
is  the  finest  ruin  in  northern  Syria,  the  Kalet  Simen, 
or  "  Fort  of  St.  Simeon."  Simeon  was  a  shep- 
herd, the  devout  son  of  a  peasant  in  the  Amanus 
mountains,  born  in  391  A.  D.,  who  began  at  an 
early  age  to  inflict  upon  himself  the  severest  pen- 
ances. He  was  fond  of  loneliness  and  solitary  med- 
itations, retired  into  a  monastery,  but  finding  too 
much  company  there,  finally  lived  apart  in  the 
wilderness.  His  peculiar  asceticism,  however,  even 
then  attracted  too  many  visitors,  who  annoyed  him 
in  his  meditations  and  penances,  and  to  get  away 
from  them,  he  went  to  the  summit  of  the  Jebel 
Barakat  and  took  refuge  on  top  of  a  crag.  Thus  he 
founded  the  religious  Order  of  the  Stylites  or 
"  pillar  hermits."  In  the  year  422  he  ascended 
a  stone  column  ten  feet  in  height,  and  remained 
there  for  seven  years,  being  nourished  by  what  was 


ALEXANDRETTA  TO  ALEPPO  325 

brought  him.  Then  he  mounted  the  top  of  a  much 
larger  column,  thirty-eight  feet  high,  having  a  plat- 
form about  four  feet  in  diameter,  remaining  there 
until  his  death  in  459.  A  congregation  of  bishops 
once  commanded  him  to  come  down,  but  he  de- 
murred, as  he  said  this  penance  was  his  duty,  though 
nevertheless  saying  if  they,  after  hearing  him,  still 
commanded  it,  and  would  be  responsible,  he  would 
descend.  Then  the  bishops,  further  reviewing  the 
matter,  decided  that  his  was  not  a  case  of  merely 
spiritual  pride,  but  of  religious  duty,  and  he  could 
follow  his  own  inclination.  He  fasted  much  of  the 
time,  went  without  food  and  sleep  almost  entirely 
during  Lent,  was  exposed  to  wind  and  storm  with- 
out protection,  stood  up  until  wounds  and  weak- 
ness compelled  him  to  sit  with  his  legs  doubled 
under  him,  and  latterly  had  to  be  bound  to  the  top 
of  the  column  or  enclosed  by  a  railing  so  he  could 
not  fall  off.  From  this  elevated  pulpit  he  de- 
livered sermons  to  many  thousands  of  hearers,  and 
gathered  around  it  quite  a  settlement  of  disciples 
and  pupils,  his  influence  being  very  great  upon  the 
wandering  tribes  of  the  country.  He  died  in  his 
lofty  station,  and  the  people  of  Antioch  afterward, 
in  procession,  removed  his  remains  to  a  chapel, 
erected  in  that  city  to  receive  them.  Immediately 
there  was  established,  on  the  spot  where  the  pillar 
stood,  a  convent  of  the  Order  of  the  Stylites,  and  in 
the  centre  of  its  church,  formed  as  a  Greek  cross, 


326  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

stood  the  column  upon  which  the  saint  had  lived 
so  long.  A  most  extensive  establishment  was 
erected  in  the  fifth  and  sixth  centuries,  and  upon 
the  subsequent  capture  by  the  Moslems  they  made 
a  strong  fortress,  the  Kalet  Simen,  out  of  it.  The 
ruins  of  the  church  and  other  buildings  cover  the 
hill  slope  and  top,  and  in  the  centre  lies  the  pedestal 
of  the  column  on  which  the  Saint  stood  for  thirty 
years.  The  Stylite  hermits  were  numerous  in 
eastern  countries  until  the  twelfth  century. 

Upon  an  elevated  plain,  surrounded  by  hills,  and 
on  the  northwestern  edge  of  the  great  Syrian  desert, 
which  extends  over  toward  Arabia  and  the  Eu- 
phrates, is  the  city  of  Aleppo,  the  ancient  Haleb, 
about  seventy  miles  east  of  the  Mediterranean. 
Through  it  flows  the  Kuweik  River  from  the  north- 
ward, passing  rich  orchards,  groves  and  gardens,  and 
going  off  to  the  south,  where  it  is  finally  lost  some 
eighteen  miles  away  in  a  morass.  When  this  city 
began  is  unknown,  but  the  Egyptian  records  testify 
to  its  existence  2,000  years  B.  C.,  and  Shelmanesar 
was  here  in  the  ninth  century  B.  C.,  and  offered 
sacrifices  to  its  god,  Hadad.  Seleucus  Nicator 
greatly  improved  it  during  his  reign,  naming  it 
Bercea,  and  he  established  the  city  as  an  important 
station  on  the  caravan  routes  to  Persia  and  Arabia, 
so  that  it  gained  so  much  prosperity  that  it  then 
became  the  leading  city  of  this  region.  For  several 
centuries  Aleppo  was  a  centre  of  much  trade,  but 


ALEXANDRETTA  TO  ALEPPO  327 

in  the  early  seventh  century  of  our  era  it  was 
burnt  by  the  Persian  king  Chosroes,  and  soon  after 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Arabs.  They,  however, 
destroyed  the  neighboring  city  and  fort  of  Kin- 
nesrin,  and  the  business  of  that  city,  going  to  Beroea, 
added  to  its  importance.  Then  came  a  series  of  mis- 
fortunes. Earthquakes  destroyed  it  in  1114,  again 
in  1139,  and  in  1170,  the  latter  being  a  most  severe 
visitation.  The  Mongols  came  twice  in  the  thir- 
teenth century  and  sacked  it,  and  in  1400  the  in- 
vader Timur  defeated  the  Syrians,  and  the  place  was 
again  destroyed.  The  Turkish  Janizaries,  in  their 
occupancy  during  the  early  nineteenth  century,  did 
it  great  damage,  and  more  destructive  earthquakes 
came  in  1822  and  1830.  These  repeated  disasters 
have  removed  almost  everything  that  was  old  in  Be- 
rrea,  but  it  revived  always  and  quickly,  on  account 
of  its  admirable  trade  position  on  the  caravan  routes 
to  Persia,  India  and  Arabia,  which  brought  con- 
stant accessions  of  wealth.  The  Venetians  and 
French  early  established  trade  factories,  English 
merchants  came  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth, 
and  the  Dutch  followed  soon  afterward.  The  sea 
route  to  India  has  curtailed  that  branch  of  the  over- 
land trade,  but  the  city  is  still  in  active  business  and 
has  a  population  approximating  two  hundred  thou- 
sand people. 

Aleppo,  as  seen  to-day,  is  comparatively  modern 
and    has    no    defensive    works.     The    vale    of    the 


328  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Kuweik,  which  was  the  Chalcis  of  Xenophon,  is  a 
wide  and  well  irrigated  region  of  gardens  and 
orchards,  and  the  pistachio  nut  thrives  admirably 
on  the  eastern  hills,  making  a  valuable  product  for 
export.  The  Roman  emperors  imported  their  pis- 
tachios from  this  region.  Much  wine  is  produced, 
and  salt  is  got  from  the  salt  lakes  on  the  edge  of  the 
neighboring  desert.  The  city  is  less  oriental  than 
most  other  Syrian  communities,  its  trade  connexions 
bringing  a  large  European  population.  The  native 
Aleppines,  however,  are  not  thought  much  of;  and 
a  common  proverb  is  El  Lalebi  jelebi,  the  "  Alep- 
pine  is  a  swell."  One  of  the  curious  developments 
is  the  habb  hileb,  or  "  Aleppine  boil,"  called  also  the 
habb  es-sench  or  the  "  boil  of  a  year."  This  erup- 
tion extends  as  far  as  Persia,  and  while  not  dan- 
gerous or  painful,  is  disfiguring,  as  it  leaves  large 
scars,  and  no  preventive  remedy  has  yet  been 
found.  Everyone  is  liable  to  the  attack,  and  visit- 
ors sometimes  get  it  long  after  they  have  left  the 
city. 

The  citadel,  in  the  centre  of  the  place,  is  on  a 
hill  evidently  artificially  constructed,  the  founda- 
tions being  very  old,  and  the  tradition  is  that  the 
whole  of  ancient  Beroea  was  on  this  hill.  The  na- 
tives declare  the  hill  to  be  supported  by  eight  thou- 
sand columns.  The  inscriptions  on  the  walls  of  the 
citadel  are  mostly  Saracenic,  of  the  thirteenth  cen- 
tury. Much  of  the  plateau  within  the  enclosure  is 


ALEXAXDRETTA  TO  ALEPPO  329 

covered  with  ruins.  There  is,  however,  a  tall  min- 
aret in  a  commanding  position,  which  is  now  the 
great  landmark  of  Aleppo,  seen  from  afar  on  every 
approaching  road.  Nine  gates  are  on  the  routes 
coming  into  the  city,  but  the  walls  are  all  down,  ex- 
cepting a  portion  with  towers  on  the  western  side. 
There  is  an  extensive  and  attractive  bazaar,  west  of 
the  citadel,  and  near  it  the  Jami  Zakariyeh,  or  Great 
Mosque,  said  to  stand  on  the  site  of  a  Christian 
church  founded  by  the  Empress  Helena.  It  has  as 
its  chief  relic  the  tomb  of  Zacharias,  the  father  of 
John  the  Baptist,  but  a  number  of  other  places  in 
Syria  also  claim  his  tomb.  This  mosque  was  twice 
destroyed,  the  last  destruction  being  by  the  Mongols 
in  1260,  after  which  the  present  mosque  was  built, 
its  minaret  rising  one  hundred  and  eighty  feet, 
having  been  constructed  in  1290.  To  the  southward 
of  Aleppo,  on  the  hills  overlooking  the  morass,  in 
which  the  river  Kuweik  loses  itself,  are  the  ruins  of 
Kinnesrin,  or  the  "  eagle's  nest,"  known  by  the 
Turks  as  Eski  Haleb,  or  "  Old  Aleppo,"  to  which 
the  Arabic  name  of  Chalcis  was  also  given.  This 
was  founded  by  Seleucus  Xicator,  as  a  frontier  post, 
toward  Persia  and  Arabia,  and  it  was  an  important 
military  colony,  and  the  capital  of  northern  Syria. 
As  Aleppo  grew,  however,  it  declined;  in  the  tenth 
century  most  of  the  inhabitants  had  abandoned  it, 
going  to  the  greater  city,  and  by  the  thirteenth-  cen- 
tury it  became  a  deserted  ruin. 


330  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 


ANTIOCH. 

Retracing  the  caravan  route  toward  the  sea,  we 
leave  the  road  from  Aleppo  to  Alexandretta,  at  the 
little  village  of  Turmania,  and  proceed  southwest 
over  the  plains,  and  among  the  hills  rising  south- 
ward of  the  Lake  of  Antioch.  Several  ruined  towns 
are  passed,  and  at  Harim,  on  an  artificial  hill,  is  the 
stout  Arabic  castle  of  Harenkh,  built  by  the  Turks 
in  the  thirteenth  century.  It  succeeded  an  earlier 
castle  of  the  Crusaders,  which  Nureddin  had  cap- 
tured from  them  in  1163.  The  route  goes  down 
into  the  broad  valley  of  the  Orontes,  crosses  the  river 
on  the  Jisr  el  Hadid,  or  the  "  iron  bridge,"  and 
thence  along  the  southern  bank  to  the  noted  city  of 
Antioch,  entering  by  the  eastern  gate,  the  Bab  Bulus, 
or  "  Gate  of  St.  Paul " ;  the  Monastery  of  St.  Paul, 
and  the  old  walls  in  that  locality,  however,  are 
nearly  all  gone,  though  some  ruins  remain. 

Antioch,  of  which  the  Arabic  name  is  Antakiyeh, 
was  the  largest  and  most  famous  city  of  ancient 
Syria,  covering  an  extensive  portion  of  the  broad 
and  fertile  plain  of  the  Orontes,  about  twenty  miles 
from  its  mouth,  though  the  present  town  is  only  one- 
tenth  the  original  size.  It  is  located  upon  the  north- 
western part  of  the  widespread  ruins,  that  show 
what  a  great  city  was  this  magnificent  capital  of 
the  splendor-loving  dynasty  of  the  Selucidae,  who  in 
their  day  ruled  all  the  eastern  Mediterranean  and 


ANTIOCH  331 

much  of  Asia.  Seleucus  Xicator,  after  his  victory 
at  Ipsus,  301  B.  C.,  determined  to  found  a  city  of 
Antiochia,  named  after  his  father  Antiochus,  as 
Laodicea  had  been  given  for  his  mother  Laodice,  in 
the  names  of  six  different  cities.  There  were  no  less 
than  fifteen  other  towns  founded  by  the  conqueror, 
in  honor  of  his  father,  and  bearing  the  name  of 
Antiochia,  and  to  distinguish  this  one,  which  was  the 
greatest  of  them,  it  was  described  as  "  Antiochia 
Ephidaphnes,"  or  "  near  Daphne."  Farther  down 
the  river,  about  six  miles  distant,  in  a  most  beautiful 
position,  with  waterfalls  pouring  over  the  cliffs, 
and  brooks  running  off  through  delicious  groves  to 
the  river,  is  Beit  el-Ma,  the  favorite  pleasure  resort 
of  the  people  of  the  city.  Here  are  ancient  re- 
mains, an  extensive  necropolis,  and  a  subterranean 
Bock  Grotto,  entered  by  a  long  stone  staircase. 
Laurels  abound,  and  this  place  was  always  the  popu- 
lar suburban  elysium  for  the  ancient  Antiochians. 
It  then  was  known  as  Daphne,  and  tradition  said  it 
was  the  place  where  the  nymph,  when  pursued  by 
Apollo,  had  been  metamorphosed  into  a  laurel. 
Seleucus  built  here  a  temple  to  Apollo,  and  for  it 
Bryaxis  made  the  famous  statue  of  the  god  play- 
ing a  lyre,  which  is  copied  on  the  old  coins  of  the 
city.  The  Temple  of  Apollo  was  burnt  by  Julian. 
There  were  also  temples  of  other  deities,  a  stadium, 
and  various  structures,  and  the  later  Selucidse 
celebrated  famous  festivals  here.  In  the  Roman 


332  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

days,  Germanicus  died  at  Daphne,  and  Olympian 
games  were  established  by  Commodus,  and  were  con- 
tinued regularly,  until  the  sixth  century  of  our  era. 
Nothing  testified  more  to  the  greatness  of  Seleucus 
Mcator  than  the  fact  that  for  thirteen  centuries 
the  chronology  of  Antioch  was  dated  from  his  cap- 
ture of  Babylon,  which  became  the  year  1  of  the 
Antiochian  era,  established  generally  throughout  the 
eastern  nations.  This  capture  was  in  312  B.  C.  and 
the  chronology  continued  until  the  tenth  century  of 
our  era,  before  it  gave  way  to  the  Christian  chro- 
nology, introduced  by  the  Crusaders. 

The  river  Orontes  was  originally  called  the  Ty- 
phon,  from  the  snake-legged  giant,  who  had  been 
stricken  near  Daphne  by  the  thunderbolt  of  Jupiter, 
and  seeking  escape  under  the  earth,  rushed  off  into 
the  mountains,  and  then  turned  his  flight  southward, 
through  the  deep  valley  between  the  Lebanon  and 
Anti-Lebanon  ranges,  and  their  northern  prolonga- 
tions. He  formed  the  Orontes  river-bed,  according 
to  the  myth,  by  his  tail,  and  its  source,  by  his  de- 
scent under  the  surface  near  Baalbek.  Orontes  was 
said  to  have  been  the  name  of  a  man  who  had  built 
a  bridge  over  the  river,  and  when,  in  the  Roman 
times,  the  course  of  the  stream  was  partly  changed, 
a  tomb  was  found  in  the  old  bed,  containing  human 
bones  of  colossal  size,  which  the  oracle,  wrhen  con- 
sulted, declared  to  be  those  of  Orontes,  whose  name 
thus  became  attached  to  the  river.  Where  it  passes 


ANTIOCH  333 

Antiocli  the  stream  is  now  about  one  hundred  and 
thirty  feet  wide.  On  old  coins  of  Antioch  the  city 
is  personified  as  a  female  figure  seated  on  a  high 
rock,  from  under  which  issues  the  Orontes  as  a 
youth  in  the  attitude  of  swimming.  This  view  was 
reproduced  in  the  famous  seated  statue  of  Antioch, 
by  Eutychides,  and  the  same  representations  are 
shown  in  a  marble  statue  in  the  Vatican,  and  a  sim- 
ilar statuette  in  the  British  Museum. 

Antioch,  in  its  days  of  glory,  had  an  enormous 
trade,  as  it  interchanged  goods  between  all  the  na- 
tions around,  caravan  routes  from  all  directions  cen- 
tering in  the  city,  and  its  port,  as  already  stated, 
being  Seleucia  Pieria.  The  population  then  ex- 
ceeded two  hundred  thousand,  yet  in  the  nineteenth 
century  had  dwindled  to  six  thousand,  but  there  has 
since  been  a  revival,  so  that  it  new  exceeds  twenty 
thousand,  though  the  present  trade  is  small.  South 
of  the  river  rises  the  rugged  Mount  Silpius,  elevated 
in  three  summits,  the  highest  about  1,450  feet.  At 
present  the  town  is  between  the  river  and  this 
ridge,  and  is  girdled  by  an  extensive  environment  of 
gardens,  orchards  and  groves,  which  are  well  irri- 
gated. Anciently  the  city  covered  all  the  hill 
slopes,  and  the  adjacent  country  for  miles,  spread- 
ing also  north  of  the  river,  and  its  walls  can  be 
traced,  as  they  rise  step-like  up  the  mountain  side. 
The  main  thoroughfare  east  and  west  then  extended 
four  miles,  between  the  opposite  city  gates,  long 


334:  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

adorned  by  four  parallel  rows  of  columns  through- 
out, and  having  arcaded  sidewalks  as  a  protection 
from  rain  and  sun.  Five  splendid  bridges  crossed 
the  Orontes.  When  the  Selucidse  were  overthrown, 
the  city  came  under  Roman  domination,  and  the  em- 
perors greatly  favored  it,  rebuilding  several  times, 
when  earthquakes  did  serious  damage.  It  was  at 
Antioch  St.  Paul  ministered,  and  here,  according  to 
The  Acis,  the  followers  of  Jesus  were  first  called 
Christians,  while  St.  Paul  started  from  this  city 
on  his  great  missionary  tour.  There  were  many 
Christian  martyrs  at  Antioch,  and  it  was  an  early 
centre  of  Christianity,  the  tradition  being  that  St. 
Peter  was  the  first  bishop,  and  over  thirty  church 
councils  being  held  here,  the  Emperor  Constantine 
partially  building  a  church,  which  was  later  com- 
pleted by  his  son. - 

The  largest  extent  of  Antioch  was  attained  under 
Theodosius  the  Great,  when  the  walls  enclosed  a  cir- 
cuit of  nearly  twelve  miles.  In  the  third  century, 
Sapor  of  Persia  sacked  the  city,  and  subsequently 
Queen  Zenobia  of  Palmyra  captured  it,  but  Aurelian 
soon  recovered  it.  The  greatest  earthquake,  in  de- 
struction, came  in  526,  when  a  church  celebration 
had  attracted  vast  crowds,  and  two  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  people  are  said  to  have  perished.  Chos- 
roes  plundered  it  in  538,  carrying  off  many  inhabi- 
tants to  Assyria,  the  previous  earthquake  and  this 
disaster  causing  its  decline.  The  Arabs  got  it  sub- 


ANTIOCH  335 

sequentl y,  and  in  1097  the  Crusaders  besieged  it. 
They  did  not  make  much  progress  owing  to  dissen- 
sions, but  another  earthquake  came  in  1098,  which 
stopped  their  quarrels,  when  they  prosecuted  the 
siege  more  vigorously,  and  soon  gaining  entrance, 
through  a  traitor,  made  a  massacre  of  the  people.  A 
Persian  army  immediately  came  to  aid  the  city,  and 
the  crusaders  were  in  alarm,  until  the  opportune 
finding  of  the  "  holy  spear  "  inspired  renewed  cour- 
age. This  spear  was  the  weapon  which  it  was  said 
had  pierced  the  Saviour's  side  at  the  Crucifixion, 
and  the  devout  Peter  of  Amicus  found  it,  under  the 
altar  of  the  principal  church,  whereupon  they 
quickly  attacked  the  Persians,  roused  by  the  inspi- 
ration of  the  spear,  and  gained  a  signal  victory, 
driving  them  off.  In  the  thirteenth  century  the 
Moslems  regained  possession,  and  have  held  it  ever 
since.  Days  are  required  to  properly  explore  the  ex- 
tensive ruins,  and  the  entire  circuit  of  the  old  walls 
can  still  be  made.  Much  of  the  materials,  however, 
have  been  used  in  rebuilding,  since  the  last  destruc- 
tive earthquake  in  1872.  The  walls  were  from 
twenty-six  to  forty  feet  high,  and  about  ten  feet  wide 
at  the  top,  the  old-time  writers  recording  that  a  four' 
horse  chariot  could  be  driven  along  them.  There 
were  large  towers  at  regular  intervals,  and  three 
hundred  and  sixty  of  them  in  all,  some  rising  eighty 
feet  in  the  air,  with  the  highest  ones  crowning  the 
hilltops. 


336  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 


ASCENDING    THE    OKONTES. 

Ccele-Syria,  or  "  Hollow  Syria,"  the  fertile  inter- 
vale of  the  Bika,  or  "  lowland,"  extends  many  miles 
southward  between  the  parallel  mountain  ridges, 
that  gradually  rise  into  higher  summits,  and  then 
become  the  Lebanon  and  Anti-Lebanon  ranges.  The 
most  elevated  portion  of  this  expansive  valley  is  in 
the  neighborhood  of  Baalbek,  and  from  this  water- 
shed the  Orontes  flows  northward  and  the  Litani 
southward,  each  ultimately  turning  westward 
through  mountain  gorges  and  seeking  the  sea.  The 
Orontes,  above  Antioch,  receives  its  most  consider- 
able tributary,  the  ISTahr  el  Aswad,  or  "  Black 
Water,"  the  ancient  Melas,  the  outlet  of  the  Lake  of 
Antioch,  which  has  a  current  so  powerful  that  it 
changes  the  course  of  the  main  river,  that  has  been 
flowing  from  the  south,  and  turns  it  toward  the 
southwest,  almost  doubling  upon  itself.  The 
Orontes  comes  out  of  the  valley  through  a  pictur- 
esque gorge,  and  following  it  up  we  find  Esh  Shughr, 
where  a  much  travelled  caravan  route,  between  the 
interior  and  the  coast,  crosses  the  river  on  a  fine 
arched  bridge.  This  is  now  a  large  Moslem  villago, 
and  it  was  a  stronghold  of  the  Crusaders,  command- 
ing the  crossing,  there  being  two  ruined  castles  re- 
maining from  their  time. 

To  the  eastward  of  the  Orontes  are  various 
hamlets,  on  the  routes  that  have  been  travelled  for 


ASCENDING  THE  OPxONTES  337 

ages  between  Aleppo  and  Damascus,  being  gener- 
ally built  in  the  ruins  of  ancient  cities  whose  his- 
tory has  faded,  their  glory  and  inhabitants  having 
departed  long  ago.  Among  these  are  Kuweiha, 
Dana,  Serjella  and  Kirkbet  Hass,  the  latter  includ- 
ing ruined  churches  and  an  extensive  necropolis  of 
the  early  Christian  era.  El  Baza  was  a  stronghold 
of  the  Crusaders,  afterward  destroyed  by  the  Mos- 
lems, this  being  the  district  of  the  Jebel  el  Arbain, 
or  "  Mount  of  the  Forty  Martyrs,"  with  ruins 
strewn  everywhere,  the  remains  of  many  churches, 
towns  and  monasteries.  Kalat  el-Mudik  is  all  that 
is  left  of  the  city  of  Apamen,  which  Seleucus 
founded  in  honor  of  his  Persian  wife,  Apame.  It 
now  occupies  the  location  of  the  ancient  citadel,  and 
looks  out  over  the  river  intervale,  a  meadow  land 
about  four  miles  wide,  having  extensive  ruins  of 
the  old  city  all  about.  There  is  a  broad  street  of 
columns,  having  at  least  eighteen  hundred  of  dif- 
ferent styles,  and  most  of  -them  about  thirty  feet 
high.  In  this  city  was  established  the  war  treasury 
and  national  stud  of  the  Seleucidae  empire,  and  here 
were  kept  for  breeding  purposes  thirty  thousand 
mares  and  three  hundred  stallions.  Pompey  de- 
stroyed the  citadel,  Chosroes  in  the  seventh  century 
burnt  the  city,  and  in  the  twelfth  century  an  earth- 
quake about  finished  its  ruin.  A  few  Bedouin 
Arabs  wander  about,  their  village  being  within  the 

enclosure  of  the  castle. 
VOL.  11—22 


338  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  Orontes,  above  here,  comes  from  the  south- 
east, passing  through  a  rocky  gorge,  and  there  is 
another  poor  Bedouin  village,  huddled  within  a 
castle,  in  a  picturesque  situation,  which  is  all  that 
now  marks  Seleucus  Nicator's  noted  city  of  Larisa 
that  anciently  controlled  the  pass.  The  country 
beyond  is  strewn  with  ruins,  showing  that  it  was 
wealthy  and  populous  in  the  Seleucian  and  Roman 
periods,  and  is  dotted  with  small  Arab  villages, 
their  hovels  scattered  among  the  relics  of  bygone 
splendors.  The  trade  of  this  region  has,  however, 
made  a  flourishing  city  on  the  Orontes,  in  Hama, 
where  there  are  eighty  thousand  people,  the  place  be- 
ing picturesquely  built  in  the  narrow  valley.  The 
river  flows  through  it,  in  a  double  curve,  from  south- 
east to  northwest,  most  of  the  buildings  being  on  the 
southern  bank,  which  rises  to  a  considerable  eleva- 
tion, culminating  in  the  castle  hill  elevated  130 
feet,  although  nothing  remains  of  the  castle  formerly 
crowning  the  summit.  There  is  an  excellent  view 
from  this  hill  over  the  city,  and  the  fertile  river  plain 
to  the  westward.  The  numerous  minarets  of  the 
mosques  rise  everywhere,  and  the  houses,  built 
mostly  of  sun-dried  bricks  or  basalt,  nestle  amid 
luxuriant  gardens.  The  winding  Orontes  is  crossed 
by  four  bridges,  and  along  its  banks  are  huge  water 
wheels,  called  nanza,  that  pump  the  water  from  the 
river,  and  are  going  day  and  night  as  the  current 
turns  them,  with  an  incessant  and  unmelodious 


ASCENDING  THE  ORONTES  339 

creaking  that  is  destructive  of  slumber  if  the  trav- 
eller rests  too  near  them.  This  city  is  the  survivor 
of  ancient  Hamath,  referred  to  in  the  Old  Testa- 
ment, which  was  captured  by  the  Assyrians,  and 
afterward  was  mentioned  by  Josephus,  as  Amatha. 
The  Moslems  and  Crusaders  held  it,  and  then  Tan- 
cred,  and  in  1157  an  earthquake  destroyed  it. 
Saladin  afterward  captured  the  place,  calling  it 
Hama,  and  it  has  had  a  varying  career  under  Mos- 
lem control,  but  in  the  later  nineteenth  century  has 
been  more  prosperous,  especially  since  the  recent 
completion  of  the  railroad  connecting  it  with  Bey- 
rout. 

Above  Hama  the  river  is  barely  one  hundred 
feet  wide,  and  in  most  places  has  burrowed  out  a 
deep  gorge,  for  its  winding  passage  over  the  wide 
intervale,  which  is  treeless,  but  generally  well  cul- 
tivated, the  enclosing  mountain  ridges  rising  high 
on  either  hand.  The  railway  gradually  mounts  the 
grade,  and  about  thirty-seven  miles  southward  reaches 
Horns,  having  ascended  nearly  seven  hundred  feet 
from  Hama,  and  risen  to  1,600  feet  elevation  above 
the  sea.  This  is  another  prosperous  place,  helped  by 
the  railway  traffic  and  enjoying  lucrative  trade,  there 
being  about  sixty  thousand  population.  It  was  an- 
cient Emesa,  the  birthplace  of  Heliogabalus,  pro- 
claimed Roman  emperor  in  217,  who  was  the 
high  priest  in  the  Temple,  of  Baal,  the  sun  god. 
It  was  here  that  Aurelian,  in  272,  defeated  Queen 


340  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Zenobia's  army,  thus  precipitating  her  downfall. 
The  Arabs  afterward  built  a  castle  that  the  Cru- 
saders captured,  and  strengthened,  and  this  citadel 
existed  until  Ibrahim  Pasha  blew  it  up  in  1831. 
There  remain  of  the  structure  now  only  a  portion 
of  the  walls,  and  one  ancient  gateway  built  of  basalt. 
It  looks  down  upon  the  town,  exhibiting  the  slender 
minarets,  the  bazaar,  and  the  high  wall  enclosed 
houses  with  their  courts,  and  extensive  cemeteries. 
Farther  southward  the  river  broadens  into  the  Lake 
of  Horns,  made  by  a  stone  dam,  a  mile  and  a  half 
long,  which  backs  up  the  water  so  that  it  spreads 
over  a  surface  three  miles  wide  and  six  miles  long. 
This  dam  fully  controls  the  water  supply  for  irriga- 
tion. Southward,  and  near  this  lake,  is  the  hill  of 
Tel  Mindau,  said  to  have  had  upon  it  the  ancient 
Hittite  fortress  of  Kadesh,  while  over  to  the  west- 
ward is  the  pass  through  which  the  road  goes  out 
to  the  coast,  at  Tripoli,  commanded  by  the  Kurd 
fortress  of  Kalat  el  Hosn,  once  a  stronghold  of  the 
Knights  Hospitallers.  The  river,  above  the  Lake 
of  Horns,  dwindles,  and  near  it,  in  a  somewhat  bar- 
ren region,  is  Riblah,  mentioned  in  the  book  of 
Numbers  as  the  divinely  prescribed  northern  fron- 
tier of  Israel.  Here,  according  to  the  book  of 
Kings,  Pharaoh  Necho  in  the  eighth  century  B.  C. 
held  Israel's  king  in  captivity,  when  the  Pharaoh 
was  marching  to  attack  the  Assyrians,  and  the  same 
book  mentions  a  visit  by  Nebuchadnezzar.  Not  far 


BAALBEK  341 

away  there  rises  a  perpendicular  cliff  containing  a 
cavern  with  some  small  and  dark  cells.  In  this  cave 
lived  Maron,  the  founder  of  the  Maronite  sect,  so 
numerous  through  this  part  of  Syria,  and  from  a 
copious  spring  near  by,  which  bursts  out  in  grand 
volume,  he  got  an  unfailing  water  supply.  This 
spring  is  one  of  the  chief  feeders  of  the  upper 
Orontes.  For  thirty  miles  farther,  the  railway 
gradually  ascends,  and  ultimately  crosses  the  sum- 
mit of  the  watershed,  of  this  long  and  famous  valley 
of  "Hollow  Syria,"  at  3,680  feet  elevation  above 
the  sea.  Here  begin  both  rivers,  the  Orontes  going 
northward  and  the  Litani  southward. 

BAALBEK. 

Almost  upon  the  highest  part  of  this  watershed 
is  the  famous  ruined  city  of  Baalbek,  the  Greek 
Heliopolis,  the  "  city  of  the  sun,"  now  represented 
by  an  Arab  village  of  about  5,000  people  scattered 
among  the  ruins,  with  some  monasteries  and  various 
Christian  missionary  schools.  Baalbek,  and  Pal- 
myra, off  in  the  desert  to  the  eastward,  are  the  finest 
ruins  in  Syria.  Baalbek  stands  upon  the  western 
^declivity  of  the  Anti-Lebanon  range,  a  little  headj 
stream  of  the  Litani  bubbling  along  at  the  base. 
These  two  ancient  cities,  that  long  ago  became  pic- 
turesque in  their  dilapidation,  were  located  on  the 
old  trade  route  between  Tyre  and  the  interior  of 
Asia,  and  were  then  reckoned  among  the  most  splen- 


342  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

did  places  of  the  world.  Baalbek  is  at  nearly  3,900 
feet  elevation,  in  a  fertile  region,  and  when  its  career 
began  is  unknown,  but  at  the  dawn  of  history  it  was 
a  centre  of  the  Phoenician  worship  of  Baal,  the 
"  sun  god,"  and  afterward  there  were  temples 
erected  to  Mercury  and  Venus.  Baal,  in  the  orig- 
inal guise,  was  represented  as  a  beardless  young 
man,  wearing  a  cuirass,  holding  a  whip  in  his  right 
hand,  and  ears  of  corn  and  a  thunderbolt  in  the  left, 
while  two  bulls  accompanied  him.  The  Romans 
greatly  enlarged  the  city,  Antoninus  Pius  beginning 
a  great  temple  to  the  three  divinities,  which  was 
finished  by  Caracalla,  in  the  early  third  century. 
The  temple  was  damaged  by  earthquakes,  and  partly 
destroyed  by  Theodosius,  who  built  a  Christian 
church.  The  Acropolis  was  converted  by  the  Arabs, 
when  they  got  possession  in  the  seventh  century,  into 
a  citadel,  and  they  always  attributed  its  construc- 
tion to  Solomon.  This  became  an  important  fortress 
in  many  subsequent  wars,  but  since  the  thirteenth 
century  Baalbek  has  been  a  ruin.  Upon  the  Acrop- 
olis are  the  remains  of  two  temples,  the  larger  being 
the  structure  of  Antoninus  Pius,  and  the  smaller 
a  temple  of  Bacchus.  These  the  Arabs  converted 
into  their  citadel.  After  the  ruin  of  the  thirteenth 
century,  all  traces  of  the  place  seem  to  have  been 
lost  for  three  hundred  years,  until  European  trav- 
ellers rediscovered  it  in  the  sixteenth  century.  The 
earthquakes  of  1759  and  subsequently  did  further 


BAALBEK  343 

great  damage,  but  in  the  early  twentieth  century  ex- 
tensive excavations  and  partial  restorations  were 
made  under  German  auspices. 

Originally,  the  eastern  entrance  to  the  great  Tem- 
ple of  the  Sun  was  a  broad  flight  of  steps,  leading 
up  to  the  Propyla?a,  at  about  twenty  feet  elevation, 
but  this  is  all  gone  now,  and  a  narrow  stairway, 
built  by  the  German  emperor,  among  a  plantation 
of  fruit  trees,  replaces  it.  The  portico  was  flanked 
by  towers,  and  was  about  two  hundred  feet  wide, 
with  twelve  columns,  of  which  the  bases  remain, 
bearing  Latin  inscriptions,  stating  that  the  temple 
was  dedicated  to  the  "  great  gods  of  Heliopolis  "  and 
was  erected  by  Antoninus  Pius  and  Caracalla.  The 
towers  are  mostly  Arabian.  The  portico  opens  into 
the  forecourt,  a  hexagon  about  two  hundred  and 
fifty  feet  wide,  having  mosaic  floors  and  surrounded 
by  colonnades.  The  Arabs  turned  this  court  into 
a  fort,  using  the  windows  as  loopholes  for  the  guns. 
From  it,  through  three  portals,  there  were  entrances 
to  the  spacious  "  Court  of  the  Altar "  surrounded 
on  three  sides  by  polished  granite  colonnades.  This 
splendid  court  measures  440  by  3TO  feet,  and  had 
originally  eighty-four  columns,  there  being  remains 
of  most  of  them  in  bases,  capitals  and  other  frag- 
ments, lying  among  the  ruins,  with  one  monolithic 
shaft  about  twenty-five  feet  long.  The  wall  deco- 
rations were  elaborate.  On  the  western  side,  a 
grand  flight  of  steps  ascended  to  the  great  temple, 


344  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  in  front  of  this,  near  the  middle  of  the  court, 
stood  the  colossal  altar,  about  half  of  which  has  been 
uncovered  by  the  excavations.  The  other  part  was 
destroyed  when  Theodosius  built  his  church  in  this 
court,  and  he  also  removed  the  flight  of  steps,  to  get 
space  for  three  apses,  that  were  on  the  western  end 
of  the  church.  Beyond,  and  at  the  top  of  the  flight, 
was  the  Great  Temple,  and  the  priests  entered  it, 
after  they  had  sacrificed  at  the  altar,  by  ascending 
the  steps.  This  was  also  known  as  the  "  Trilithon 
Temple "  from  three  huge  stones  in  the  outer 
western  wall.  Little  of  it  now  remains,  though  as 
it  was  on  the  pinnacle  of  the  Acropolis,  six  of  the 
huge  columns,  composing  the  peristyle,  still  stand- 
ing, and  over  sixty  feet  high,  of  stone  of  yellowish 
hue,  are  the  most  conspicuous  landmark  for  the 
visitor  on  approaching  Baalbek.  High  above  them 
rise  capitals,  an  architrave,  and  a  cornice,  elevated 
nearly  twenty  feet  further.  The  peristyle,  of  which 
these  were  part,  had  nineteen  columns  on  each  side, 
and  ten  at  each  end,  of  which  many  pieces  are  scat- 
tered about.  The  terrace,  where  the  temple  stood, 
had  an  outer  enclosing  wall,  of  stones  of  huge  size, 
and  on  the  western  part  of  the  wall  are  the  largest 
three,  the  "  trilithon,"  regarded  as  the  greatest 
blocks  ever  used  in  a  building.  They  are  thirteen 
feet  high,  ten  feet  thick,  and  measure  respectively 
in  length,  sixty-four,  sixty-three  and  one-half,  and 
sixty-two  and  one-half  feet.  In  the  quarries,  south- 


BAALBEK  345 

west  of  the  town,  where  these  stones  were  got,  there 
is  another  colossal  hewn  block,  evidently  intended 
for  the  temple,  but  never  removed.  It  is  seventy 
feet  long,  fourteen  feet  high,  and  thirteen  feet  wide, 
weighing  about  a  thousand  tons. 

On  the  south  side  of  the  Great  Temple  is  the 
smaller  Temple  of  Bacchus,  one  of  the  best  pre- 
served of  the  ancient  Syrian  buildings.  Its  peri- 
style had  fifteen  columns  on  each  side,  and  eight  at 
the  western  end,  about  fifty-two  feet  high,  and  bear- 
ing an  entablature  and  double  frieze.  Much  of  the 
Byzantine  ornamentation  is  still  preserved.  The 
northern  colonnade  is  almost  wholly  in  position,  and 
there  are  groups  of  columns  on  the  other  sides,  but 
most  of  them  were  thrown  down  and  broken,  the 
Turks  desiring  to  extract  the  iron,  which  was  much 
sought  after.  The  double  row  of  columns,  in  the 
eastern  vestibule,  is  also  well  preserved.  The  beau- 
tiful portal  is  the  gem  of  this  building,  and  the  cella, 
about  ninety  feet  long  and  nearly  as  wide,  is  in 
good  preservation,  on  the  northern  side,  where  a 
tablet  in  the  wall  commemorates  a  recent  visit  by 
the  German  emperor.  In  the  village  near  the 
Acropolis  is  a  small  circular  temple  of  Venus,  hav- 
ing Corinthian  monolithic  columns  on  the  outside, 
this  having  been  formerly  used  as  a  Greek  chapel. 
Not  far  away  is  the  Kas  el  Ain,  a  copious  spring 
which  forms  one  of  the  headstreams  of  the  Litani, 
and  having  near  by  the  ruins  of  two  mosques.  This 


346  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

is  near  the  old  Baalbek  quarries,  and  from  the  hilltop 
above  them  is  a  good  view  over  the  ruins  of  the 
city,  the  Acropolis,  the  broad  red  plain  at  the  heads 
of  the  two  great  rivers,  the  earth  being  thus  col- 
ored by  oxide  of  iron ;  and  at  its  western  verge  is 
the  magnificent  range  of  the  Lebanon,  rising  into  its 
highest  peaks  off  to  the  northwest,  and  having  toward 
the  southeast  the  broad  summit  of  the  Sannin, 
which  hides  from  view  distant  Beyrout  and  the  Med- 
iterranean. Such  is  the  present  condition  and  the 
picturesque  environment  of  this  noted  city  of  the 
sun  god,  Baal. 

PALMYRA    AND    ZENOBIA. 

To  the  eastward  of  Baalbek  rises  the  Anti-Leb- 
anon range,  which  on  its  farther  side  gradually 
fades  off  into  the  spacious  Syrian  desert.  To  the 
southward  goes  the  railway,  sixty-four  miles  to 
Damascus,  while  toward  the  southeast  flows  the 
Litani,  with  constantly  increasing  volume,  until  it 
turns  westward,  and  breaks  its  picturesque  gorge 
through  the  Lebanon  to  get  out  to  the  sea.  On  the 
railway  route  is  shown  the  "  tomb  of  the  Prophet 
Noah,"  a  structure  about  a  hundred  feet  long.  Here 
is  also  Berzeh,  where  a  Moslem  tradition  declares 
that  Abraham  was  born.  Across  the  Syrian  desert, 
about  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  eastward,  is  the 
pleasant  oasis  of  Tadmur,  which  displays  the  ruins 
of  Zenobia's  famous  city  of  Palmyra.  Over  this 


PALMYRA  AND  ZENOBIA         347 

desert  roam  many  Bedouin  Arab  tribes,  these  nomads 
keeping  up  a  constant  predatory  warfare  against  the 
Druses  residing  to  the  northward,  attacking  and 
plundering  caravans.  These  attacks  naturally  lead 
to  retaliations,  and  sometimes  cause  fierce  contests. 
In  the  autumn,  of  1905,  in  one  of  these  battles, 
fifty-five  of  the  fighters  were  killed,  and  the  sur- 
viving Druses,  who  had  got  the  worst  of  it,  went 
home  to  their  own  land  in  sorry  plight.  They  were 
eager  for  revenge,  however,  and  in  October,  1906, 
gathering  four  thousand  men,  half  of  them  mounted, 
and  all  armed  with  rifles,  and  having  a  thousand 
friendly  Bedouin  Arabs,  who  lived  in  their  country, 
as  allies,  they  marched  over  the  desert  toward  Da- 
mascus. The  Bedouins  were  waiting  for  them,  in 
strong  force,  at  Edh  Dhumeyr,  about  twenty  miles 
from  Damascus,  and  opened  the  battle  by  a  charge. 
But  the  Druses,  in  this  fight,  were  too  much  for  the 
Bedouins.  The  footmen  knelt  down,  and  by  a  well- 
aimed  rifle  fire,  swept  away  the  front  of  the  Bedouin 
attacking  force,  and  the  mounted  Druses  then  rode 
in  from  the  flanks,  and  completed  the  victory.  At 
least  three  hundred  Bedouins  were  killed,  and  the 
Druses,  after  plundering  their  camp,  returned  north- 
ward in  triumph.  As  some  Damascus  merchants 
were  slain,  and  their  goods  stolen  in  this  raid,  a  bad 
condition  of  affairs  resulted,  the  weak  Turkish  au- 
thority being  unable  to  control  the  hostile  tribes. 
It  is  several  days'  journey  across  the  desert,  by 


348  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

camel,  horseback  or  carriage,  to  Palmyra,  and  the 
route  passes  through  the  ancient  Nezala,  now  known 
as  Karyaten,  an  oasis  where  there  are  luxuriant 
gardens  and  wine-growing.  The  Bedouins  say  that 
here  insanity  can  be  cured.  The  patient  is  bound, 
and  confined  all  night  in  a  room  by  himself,  and 
next  morning  is  found  without  his  fetters  and  with 
reason  restored.  But  they  add,  with  an  eye  to  busi- 
ness, that  if  he  neglects  to  pay  for  the  miraculous 
recovery,  he  soon  relapses  into  his  former  condition. 
A  tedious  ride  over  the  desert  beyond  displays  the 
curious  lizards  and  small  snakes  that  come  out  of 
their  holes  to  sun  themselves,  there  having  been 
counted  thirty-three  kinds  of  snakes  and  forty-four 
species  of  lizards.  The  ground  also,  in  places,  is 
honey-combed  by  the  nests  of  the  graceful  little 
jerboa,  or  "  jumping  mouse."  The  shrill  cry  of  the 
harmless  little  gecho  is  heard,  and  at  night  the  jack- 
als howl  and  whimper,  the  same  as  they  did  in  the 
Biblical  days,  when  they  were  described  as  foxes. 
But  this  desert  is  tolerable,  as  it  rarely  has  a  mosquito. 
Long  before  Palmyra  is  reached,  in  the  tedious 
journey,  its  great  sepulchral  tower  comes  into  view. 
The  oasis  of  Tadmur,  mentioned  in  the  book  of 
Chronicles,  is  in  the  Syrian  desert,  about  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  miles  northeast  of  Damascus,  and  from 
the  eastern  border  it  is  about  five  days'  camel  ride 
to  the  Euphrates.  The  location  is  on  the  northern 
edge  of  the  Hammed,  the  stony  and  springless 


PALMYRA  AND  ZEXOBIA          349 

central  region  of  this  great  desert,  which  is  so  in- 
hospitable that  all  the  routes  from  the  Mediterranean 
coast  eastward  make  a  long  detour  around  it  toward 
the  north,  so  as  to  go  through  this  welcome  Tadmur 
oasis.  Various  other  routes,  in  ancient  times,  also 
intersected  here,  making  the  place  a  much  fre- 
quented trading  station.  The  old  story  was,  that 
Tadmur  had  been  built  in  the  wilderness  by  Solomon. 
It  was  originally  an  Arabian  settlement  of  the  car- 
avan drivers,  and  grew  to  be  a  city  of  sufficient 
importance  and  wealth  to  excite  the  cupidity  of 
Mark  Antony  in  34  B.  C.  The  attraction  for  the 
wandering  Arabs  was  the  sacred  spring  of  Ephka, 
thus  located,  far  away  in  the  desert  that  they  had 
to  cross,  between  the  Mediterranean  and  Euphrates, 
its  tepid  and  sulphurous  waters  having  a  reputa- 
tion for  curing  the  rheumatism,  which  always  pre- 
vailed on  the  oasis,  elevated  1,300  feet  above  the 
sea,  and  swept  by  cutting  winds  that  produced  ex- 
treme and  sudden  variations  of  temperature.  The 
spring  gushes  forth,  in  copious  volume,  from  a 
cavern  in  the  hills  west  of  the  town.  The  water  at 
about  84°  temperature,  tastes  strongly  of  sulphur, 
but  it  is  the  only  available  water  supply,  excepting 
what  is  got  from  wells.  A  little  way  down  the 
stream,  leading  from  the  outflowing  spring,  there  is 
an  ancient  altar,  and  farther  along  an  Arabian  mill. 
All  now  remaining  of  the  great  city  of  Palmyra 
is  a  vast  aggregation  of  ruins,  and  among  them  is 


350  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  modern  hamlet  of  Tadmur,  consisting  of  about 
fifty  huts,  built  mostly  of  fragments  of  columns, 
and  the  other  ancient  material  strewn  about  so  lib- 
erally, the  long  village  streets  traversing  these  ruins. 
In  its  olden  time  of  glory  Tadmur  became  generally 
known  as  Palmyra,  from  the  name  given  it  by  the 
Greeks. 

When  Mark  Antony  made  his  predatory  expedi- 
tion, the  people  carried  off  their  treasures  and 
deposited  them  in  safety  with  their  Parthian  friends 
beyond  the  Euphrates.  The  subsequent  centuries 
of  wars,  between  these  Parthians  and  the  Romans, 
favored  the  aggrandizement  of  Palmyra,  its  period 
of  splendor  beginning  in  the  second  century  of  our 
era.  The  most  prized  luxuries  of  the  ancient  world, 
—  silks,  jewels,  pearls,  perfumes,  etc., —  came  from 
Asia  and  India,  largely  by  the  caravan  routes  through 
this  oasis,  to  Rome,  and  the  traffic  made  an  enor- 
mously profitable  business  for  the  Palmyra  mer- 
chants. As  a  matter  of  patriotic  service,  the  civic 
achievement  then  regarded  as  the  most  laudable  was 
to  successfully  organize  and  conduct  a  great  caravan, 
and  this  was  often  recognized  by  monuments  erected 
in  honor  of  the  merchant-conductors. 

These  monuments,  which  made  such  a  conspic- 
uous feature  in  Palmyrean  architecture,  took  the 
form  of  statues,  placed  upon  pedestals,  projecting 
from  the  upper  parts  of  the  long  rows  of  pillars  that 
lined  the  chief  streets.  Every  prominent  merchant 


PALMYRA  AND  2ENOBIA         351 

was  eager  to  have  his  name  handed  down  to  posterity 
by  an  enduring  memorial,  and  to  add  to  the  colon- 
nades a  series  of  pillars  was  the  popular  method  of 
conferring  honor.  Thus  arose  the  great  central  av- 
enue of  Palmyra,  starting  from  a  triumphal  arch 
near  the  Temple  of  the  Sun,  which  formed  the  main 
axis  of  the  city,  from  southeast  to  northwest,  for  a 
length  of  thirty-seven  hundred  feet,  and  at  one  time 
displayed  over  seven  hundred  and  fifty  columns  of 
rosy  white  limestone,  each  fifty-five  feet  high.  Other 
streets  also  were  similarly  lined  with  columns.  They 
were  generally  shaded  from  the  sun's  heat,  and  in 
some  parts  the  pillars  seem  to  have  served  to  sup- 
port a  raised  footway,  from  which  the  public  could 
look  down  upon  the  wagons  laden  with  goods,  the 
camels  and  donkeys  going  along  with  their  heavy 
loads,  and  the  motley  crowds  of  various  races,  in 
the  street  beneath.  To  his  other  honors,  in  ancient 
Palmyra,  the  head  of  a  great  house  was  also  careful 
to  add  the  glory  of  a  splendid  family  tomb,  conse- 
crated as  the  "  long  home "  of  himself,  his  sons, 
and  his  sons'  sons  forever.  These  tombs,  outside  the 
city,  are  among  the  most  interesting  monuments  of 
Palmyra.  Some  are  lofty  square  towers,  with  as 
many  as  five  sepulchral  chambers  occupying  suc- 
cessive stories,  and  overlook  the  city  and  its  ap- 
proaches, from  the  slopes  of  the  surrounding  hills. 
Others  are  house-like  buildings  of  one  story,  a  richly 
decorated  portico  opening  into  a  hall,  whose  walls  are 


352  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

adorned  with  the  names,   achievements,   and  sculp- 
tured portraits  of  the  dead. 

Palmyra  reached  its  greatest  fame  and  prosperity 
in  the  third  century  of  our  era.  It  was  a  republic, 
in  which  one  of  the  most  successful  merchants  — 
Odsenathus  —  had  raised  himself  to  the  highest 
power,  and  was  succeeded  hy  his  son,  of  the  same 
name,  who  styled  himself  the  King  of  Palmyra.  He 
became  a  Roman  ally,  and  in  a  sense  a  vassal,  and 
was  engaged  in  almost  constant  warfare  in  the  east 
and  north,  against  the  Persians  and  others,  but  he' 
finally  arrogated  to  himself  the  title  of  "  emperor," 
became  independent  of  Rome,  and  began  making  his 
own  coinage.  In  the  height  of  his  career  he  was 
assassinated.  Thus,  in  the  year  267,  the  power 
fell  to  his  wife,  Zenobia,  who,  during  the  almost 
constant  wars  he  waged,  had  firmly  held  the  reins  of 
government  in  Palmyra.  This  remarkable  woman, 
who  was  celebrated  not  only  for  her  warlike  dispo- 
sition, but  also  for  her  talents  and  refined  taste,  is 
regarded  as  the  most  famous  heroine  of  antiquity. 
To  her,  the  Emperor  Aurelian,  in  a  letter,  ascribed 
the  chief  merit  of  all  her  husband's  success.  She 
was  Beth  Zabbai,  a  native  of  Palmyra,  of  Arabic 
descent,  and  under  her  Palmyra  reached  the  sum- 
mit of  its  glory.  She  is  described  as  a  dark  beauty, 
with  black,  flashing  eyes  and  pearly  teeth,  having 
unusual  physical  endurance  and  frank  commanding 
manners  that  secured  her  authority  alike  in  court, 


PALMYRA  AND  ZENOBIA         353 

camp  and  desert.  She  was  not  only  a  strong  exec- 
utive, but  also  highly  intellectual,  speaking  all  the 
languages  of  the  various  races  over  which  she  ruled. 
She  conquered  and  held  Syria,  Egypt,  Mesopotamia, 
Bythinia  and  much  of  Asia  Minor,  but  her  ambi- 
tion ultimately  wrought  her  ruin,  for  she  dropped 
the  allegiance  to  Rome,  and  this  defiance  brought 
Aurelian's  invading  cohorts  into  Syria.  He  de- 
feated her  forces  near  Horns  and  besieged  Palmyra. 
She  fled  to  the  Euphrates,  and  he  took  the  city  in 
273,  his  pursuers  also  chasing  and  capturing  the 
queen,  who  was  taken  to  Rome  and  graced  his 
triumphal  procession.  Then  the  Palmyreans  re- 
volted, and  the  emperor  destroyed  the  city.  Its 
glory  was  gone,  and  while  there  were  some  subse- 
quent restorations,  yet  the  place  afterward  was  little 
more  than  a  frontier  town,  occasionally  visited  by 
earthquakes.  It  had  actually  passed  so  completely 
out  of  sight  that  in  1678  a  party  of  English,  from 
their  trading  post  at  Aleppo,  travelling  over  the 
desert,  came  upon  this  oasis  and  its  ruins,  and  de- 
clared they  had  made  an  entirely  new  discovery. 

The  medieval  Arab  castle,  on  the  hill  northwest  of 
the  town,  gives  an  admirable  view  over  the  ruins, 
displaying  the  Street  of  Columns,  the  Temple  of  the 
Sun  beyond  it,  the  necropolis  and  sepulchral  towers 
dotting  the  slopes,  and  the  gloomy  environment  of 
desert,  enclosed  by  distant  barren  hills.  The  con- 
spicuous object  amid  the  ruins  is  the  great  Temple 
VOL.  11—23 


354  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

of  the  Sun,  which  was  dedicated  to  Baal,  and  was 
restored  after  the  Roman  destruction  of  the  city.  It 
and  all  the  Palmyrean  buildings  were  constructed  of 
the  same  rosy  limestone,  that  was  got  from  quarries 
in  the  hills  near  the  castle.  The  temple  is  on  a 
raised  terrace,  which  was  enclosed  by  an  outer  wall, 
fifty  feet  high,  and  forming  a  square  of  about  760 
feet  on  each  side.  The  northern  side  of  this  wall 
is  still  in  fair  preservation,  but  on  the  other  sides 
only  the  ancient  foundations  remain,  the  Arabs 
having  made  the  temple  a  fortress  and  built  the 
defences  upon  them  out  of  the  old  building  ma- 
terials. They  destroyed  the  original  gateway  on  the 
western  side,  and  constructed  a  new  entrance,  having 
a  lofty  pointed  portal,  up  to  which  a  grand  flight  of 
steps,  over  one  hundred  feet  wide,  ascended,  the 
portico  being  formed  of  Corinthian  columns,  twelve 
feet  high.  In  the  interior  is  the  modern  village  of 
Tadmur,  built  among  the  ruins,  the  inside  of  the 
enclosing  wall  having  an  imposing  colonnade,  of 
which  about  fifty  columns  are  still  preserved,  among 
the  modern  houses,  there  having  originally  been 
nearly  four  hundred  of  them.  This  colonnade  en- 
closed a  large  square  court,  having  the  temple  in 
its  centre,  on  a  raised  platform.  It  was  about  200 
feet  by  100  feet,  surrounded  by  another  noble  col- 
onnade, fifty  feet  in  height,  of  which  only  a  few 
columns  are  still  standing.  Most  of  them  were 
thrown  down  by  the  Arabs,  to  get  their  bronze  cap- 


PALMYRA  AND  ZEXOBIA  355 

itals.  The  best  architectural  relic  of  this  structure 
is  the  beautiful  portal  of  the  cella,  now  a  mosque. 
From  the  roof  is  a  fine  view  of  the  ruins  of  the 
ancient  city  and  the  Arab  castle  over  on  the  north- 
western hill. 

Extending  from  the  corner  of  the  temple,  toward 
the  castle,  are  the  remains  of  the  famous  Street  of 
Columns.  It  begins  some  five  hundred  feet  from  the 
temple,  and  stretches  for  two-thirds  of  a  mile,  with 
many  remains  of  splendid  buildings  and  columns, 
some  of  the  latter  still  standing  in  groups,  and  others 
being  overthrown  and  broken,  with  remnants  of  shafts 
and  capitals  scattered  upon  the  surface.  Votive  in- 
scriptions to  leaders  of  caravans  are  upon  some  of  the 
columns ;  there  are  remains  of  a  portico  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  street,  a  marketplace  where  several 
streets  diverged,  walls,  foundations  of  buildings, 
huge  but  prostrate  monoliths,  some  of  granite,  prob- 
ably brought  from  Egypt,  portions  of  temples,  sar- 
cophagi, and  of  other  streets  also  bordered  by  colon- 
nades. Nearly  two  hundred  columns  are  still  stand- 
ing in  whole  or  in  part.  The  ancient  city  lay  on  both 
sides  of  this  Street  of  Columns,  and  there  are  sur- 
vivals of  the  walls  which  Justinian,  in  the  sixth 
century,  built  to  defend  the  place  against  Arab  in- 
cursions. An  extensive  surface  is  strewn  with  the 
rubbish  of  the  ruined  city,  that  conceals  most  of  the 
street  pavements,  though  their  lines  can  be  partly 
traced.  The  gardens  and  orchards  surrounding  the 


356  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

place  are  also  full  of  antique  remains.  On  the 
hill  slopes  are  the  sepulchral  towers,  very  numerous, 
and  a  characteristic  survival  of  Palmyra.  These 
family  tombs  are  mostly  of  Asiatic  architecture, 
with  inscriptions  in  Roman,  and  also  in  Palmyrean 
characters.  Many  are  in  decay,  having  been  orig- 
inally spacious  structures,  three  or  four  stories  high, 
and  disclosing,  amid  the  accumulated  rubbish  of  the 
interior,  remains  of  mummies,  bones,  and  pieces  of 
winding  sheets  soaked  in  tar.  Vandals,  however, 
have  mutilated  everything,  and  stolen  all  the  valu- 
ables. The  best  preserved  of  these  towers  is  nearly 
sixty  feet  high,  tapering  toward  the  apex,  and  having 
a  portal  covered  by  a  roof.  Above,  on  the  wall,  is 
an  inscribed  slab,  and  over  it  a  bracket,  with  two 
winged  figures.  Here  was  once  placed  the  bust  of 
the  most  distinguished  occupant  of  the  tomb.  The 
interior  is  richly  decorated,  being  a  chamber  twenty- 
seven  feet  long  and  twenty  feet  high,  with  a  fine 
paneled  ceiling  that  was  colored  in  blue  and  red. 
Two  rows  of  busts,  ten  in  all,  were  at  the  back  of  the 
chamber.  The  upper  stories  were  similarly  en- 
riched. Everywhere  are  remains  of  these  tombs, 
monuments  and  sepulchral  structures,  thus  environ- 
ing the  town,  and  giving  an  idea  of  its  splendor  in 
the  Zenobian  era. 

Beyond  the  boundaries  of  the  Tadmur  oasis  are 
the  barren  stretches  of  the  great  Syrian  desert, 
through  which  come  the  caravans  seeking  the  rest  of 


PALMYRA  AND  ZENOBIA  35  7 

its  shade  and  the  waters  of  the  sacred  spring.  Over 
this  desert  wander  the  Arab  nomads,  who  are  home- 
less, restless  and  flitting,  the  same  now  as  they  were 
in  the  days  of  Palmyra's  glory.  These  are  the 
Bedouins,  who  despise  agriculture  and  a  settled  life, 
preferring  to  roam  the  land  with  their  attractive 
Arabian  steeds,  their  camels,  sheep  and  goats,  wholly 
uncontrolled  and  independent  of  any  government, 
and  exacting  blackmail  from  the  more  prosaic  peas- 
ant who  labors  on  the  soil.  The  name  of  Bedouin 
comes  from  Ahl  Bedoo,  meaning  "  dwellers  in  the 
open  land,"  in  contrast  with  the  Arabs  who  are  in 
towns  and  on  farms.  Living  on  the  desert,  and 
usually  in  tents,  they  are  compelled  to  follow  an  out- 
of-door  life,  by  the  characteristics  of  their  country. 
They  have  to  migrate  from  one  place  to  another  to 
find  enough  herbage  and  water  for  their  animals. 
This  necessity  involves  the  tribes  in  frequent  quar- 
rels, regarding  the  use  of  some  pasture  ground  or 
well,  besides  not  infrequently  reducing  them  to  ex- 
treme want,  and  thus  compelling  them  to  plunder 
others  for  self-support.  The  loneliness  of  the  desert, 
far  beyond  the  vigilant  control  of  fixed  law,  com- 
bined with  the  other  circumstances,  continued  dur- 
ing successive  generations,  has  made  a  peculiar  im- 
press upon  a  naturally  bold,  restless,  hardy  and  en- 
terprising race.  Thus  the  term  Bedouin  and  brig- 
and have  come  to  be  regarded  as  almost  synony- 
mous, though  this  aspersion  is  scarcely  just.  They 


358  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

have  horses,  herds  and  camels,  and  most  of  them 
regard  the  plundering  of  caravans  and  travellers  as 
a  sort  of  supplementary  measure,  taking  the  place 
of  the  customs  dues  and  fees  existing  elsewhere. 
The  desert  land,  they  say,  is  theirs,  and  trespassers 
upon  it,  without  leave,  must  pay  the  forfeit.  Back- 
sheesh,  however,  judiciously  dispensed,  will  get  from 
the  sheik  of  a  tribe  permission  to  pass,  and  thus  give 
some  protection.  They  are  a  romantic  and  highly 
imaginative  race,  and  thus  have  been  the  source  of 
many  interesting  contributions  to  oriental  literature. 
Bayard  Taylor  visited  them  and  studied  their  life 
and  habits,  and  in  his  Poems  of  the  Orient  in  1854 
composed  this  characteristic  Bedouin  Song: 

From  the  desert  I  come  to  thee 
On  a  stallion  shod  with  fire; 
And  the  winds  are  left  behind 
In  the  speed  of  my  desire. 
Under  thy  window  I  stand, 

And  the  midnight  hears  my  cry: 
I  love  thee,  I  love  but  thee, 
With  a  love  that  shall  not  die, 
Till  the  sun  grows  cold, 
And  the  stars  are  old, 
And  the  leaves  of  the  Judgment  Book  unfold ! 

Look  from  thy  window  and  see 

My  passion  and  my  pain; 
I  lie  in  the  sands  below, 

And  I  faint  in  thy  disdain. 
Let  the  night-winds  touch  thy  brow 

With  the  heat  of  my  burning  sigh, 
And  melt  thee  to  hear  the  vow 


PALMYRA  AND  ZENOBIA          359 

Of  a  love  that  shall  not  die, 
Till  the  sun  grows  cold, 
And  the  stars  are  old, 
And  the  leaves  of  the  Judgment  Book  unfold ! 

My  steps  are  nightly  driven 

By  the  fever  in  my  breast, 
To  hear  from  thy  lattice  breathed 

The  word  that  shall  give  me  rest. 
Open  the  door  of  thy  heart, 

And  open  thy  chamber-door, 
And  my  kisses  shall  teach  thy  lips 
The  love  that  shall  fade  no  more, 
Till  the  sun  grows  cold, 
And  the  stars  are  old, 
And  the  leaves  of  the  Judgment  Book  unfold ! 


THE  JORDAN  AND  SINAI 


XIII 
THE  JORDAN  AND  SINAI 

Damascus — Hedjaz  Railway — Sources  of  the  Jordan — Baniyas 
— Dan — Laish — Hasbeiya — the  Ghor — the  Zor — Lake  Huleh 
— Kades — Safed — Galilee — Mount  Tabor — Bethsaida — Tibe- 
rias— Sea  of  Galilee — Magdala — Capernaum  —  Chorazin — 
Cana — Beisan — Samaria — Nabulus — Gerizim — Ebal — Jacob's 
Well — Shiloh — Beth-el — Ramah — Karn  Sartabah — Bethany 
— Stone  of  Rest — Hill  of  Blood — Eriha — Jericho — Gilgal — 
Bethabara — Elijah's  Translation — Dead  Sea — Apple  of 
Sodom — Gilead — Es-Salt — Jebel  Osha — Jerash — Ammon  — 
Moab — Mount  Nebo — Dibon — "Moabite  Stone — El  Karak — 
Lydda  —  Ramleh — Ekron — Gezer — Latrun — Emmaus — Sam- 
son and  Delilah — Kirjath-Jearim — Jerusalem — Mount  Mo- 
riah — Mount  Zion — Via  Dolorosa — The  Holy  Sepulchre — • 
Mount  Calvary — the  Crucifixion — Mount  of  Olives — Garden 
of  Gethsemane — Valley  of  Jehoshaphat — Valley  of  Hinnom 
— Siloam — Mount  of  Evil  Counsel — Aceldama — Ccenaculum 
— Rachel's  Tomb — Bethlehem — David's  Well — the  Nativity — 
Frank  Mountain — Cave  of  Adullam — Pools  of  Solomon — He- 
bron— Cave  of  Machpelah — Gibelon — Ascalon — Esdud — Yeb- 
na — Gaza — the  Philistines — Beersheba — Engedi — Jebel  Us- 
dum — Sodom — Valley  of  Arabah — Edom — Petra — Desert  of 
Tih — Akabah — Sinai — Jebel  Musa — the  Monastery — Safsaf 
— the  Stone  of  Moses — Jebel  Katherin — Mount  Serbal — 
Oasis  of  Firan — Maghara — Baths  of  Pharaoh — Marah — the 
Exodus — Suez — the  Isthmus  and  Canal — Port  Said. 

DAMASCUS. 

When  Mohammed,  coming  from  the  sterile  Ara- 
bian desert,  first  beheld  the  fair  white  city  of  Damas- 
363 


364  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

cus,  with  its  copious  running  waters  and  delicious 
gardens,  he  is  said  to  have  turned  his  eyes  from  the 
beautiful  sight,  that  "  he  might  not  forget  Para- 
dise." It  is  natural  for  an  Arab  to  take  delight  in 
a  fertile  region,  so  unlike  the  arid  wastes  of  his  own 
land.  The  Koran  depicts  Paradise  as  an  orchard, 
with  streams  of  flowing  water,  where  the  most  de- 
licious fruits  are  ever  ready  to  drop  into  the  mouth. 
Damascus  is  the  largest  Syrian  city,  and  occupies  a 
site  of  singular  beauty.  The  Anti-Lebanon  range 
is  west  and  northwest,  and  extends  far  away  to  the 
north  and  northeast.  From  its  slopes  and  ravines 
come  out  various  streams,  which  water  the  city,  and 
the  surrounding  girdle  of  gardens,  and  then  flow  off 
eastward,  to  be  lost  in  the  Meadow  Lakes,  about 
eighteen  miles  away  in  the  desert,  which  stretches 
afar  into  Arabia.  Out  of  a  magnificent  ravine  in 
this  range  flows  the  Barada,  or  "  cold  "  river,  which 
was  the  Chrysorrhoas,  or  "  golden  stream "  of  the 
Greeks,  and  the  Abana  of  the  Bible,  mentioned  in 
the  book  of  Kings.  By  an  admirable  system  of 
channels  and  pipes,  a  great  deal  of  which  is  of 
hoary  antiquity,  this  stream,  which  is  divided  into 
seven  branches  at  the  outlet  of  the  gorge,  has 
its  waters  conveyed  through  every  quarter  of 
the  city,  and  into  almost  every  house,  besides 
being  used  extensively  for  irrigation,  so  that  the 
verdure  is  made  perennial.  The  orchards  and  vine- 
yards, thus  watered,  cover  a  circuit  of  about  sixty 


DAMASCUS  365 

miles,  being  known  as  the  Ghiita.  To  the  south- 
ward, another  river,  the  Awaj,  the  ancient  Pharpar, 
is  made  to  irrigate  nearly  a  hundred  miles  more. 
In  May,  when  there  is  full  foliage,  the  vines  are 
exuberant,  and  later,  when  the  fruit  trees  bear 
their  golden  crop  above  the  rich  green  carpet,  the 
Damascus  girdle  of  gardens  is  truly  attractive. 
Thus  eloquently  spoke  Naaman  in  the  book  of 
Kings:  "  Are  not  Abana  and  Pharpar,  rivers  of 
Damascus,  better  than  all  the  waters  of  Israel  ?  " 

The  Anti-Lebanon  outlier,  the  bare  Jebel  Kasyun, 
closely  borders  the  northwestern  verge  of  Damascus, 
and  to  the  westward  is  the  massive  summit  of 
Mount  Hermon.  The  city  is  environed  by  moun- 
tains on  three  sides,  and  is  elevated  about  2,300 
feet  above  the  sea,  while  Jebel  Kasyun,  rising  1,400 
feet  higher,  gives,  from  its  Dome  of  Victory,  near 
the  top,  a  magnificent  outlook  over  houses,  the  far 
spreading  gardens,  and  to  the  southward,  the  distant 
hills  of  the  Hauran.  The  Moslems  regard  Kasyun 
as  sacred,  for  Adam  is  said  to  have  lived  upon  it, 
and  Abraham  came  here  in  his  youth,  and  first  ac- 
quired a  knowledge  of  the  one  true  God,  his  father 
being  a  heathen,  while,  through  the  line  of  Ishmael, 
he  became  the  progenitor  of  the  Arabs.  It  was  from 
this  elevation  that  Mohammed  beheld  Damascus,  but 
he  did  not  enter  it.  The  hill  is  made  partly  of  a 
reddish  rock,  and  the  legend  is  that  it  contained  a 
blood-stained  cavern,  where  the  body  of  the  mur- 


366  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

dered  Abel  was  hidden.  On  the  slopes  grow  the 
carob  beans,  the  "  locusts  "  on  which  John  the  Bap- 
tist subsisted  while  in  the  wilderness.  From  this 
hill,  the  superb  outlook  over  the  city  is  like  an 
Arabian  poet's  dream,  when  Paradise  is  seen  from 
afar.  Tapering  minarets,  and  swelling  domes 
tipped  with  golden  casements,  rise  above  the  white 
terraced  roofs,  and  in  some  places  their  glittering 
tops  appear  among  the  green  foliage  of  the  gardens. 
In  the  centre  is  the  Great  Mosque,  and  near  it  the 
gray  battlements  of  the  old  castle.  Far  to  the  south- 
ward the  eye  follows  the  long  Meidan  suburb,  while 
nearer,  and  extending  from  the  foot  of  the  hill  to  the 
city,  is  the  Merj,  the  wide,  green  meadow,  stretch- 
ing along  the  Barada  vale,  from  the  outlet  of  the 
gorge  to  the  houses.  Gardens  and  orchards  encom- 
pass the  buildings  round  about  with  a  sea  of  verdure, 
while  many  clumps  of  trees  dot  the  plain  beyond, 
almost  to  the  horizon.  We  look  down  upon  the  road, 
beyond  the  gate,  where  St.  Paul,  approaching  Da- 
mascus, encountered  the  heavenly  vision  that  con- 
verted him,  and  within  the  city  can  be  traced  the 
long  bazaar,  running  almost  completely  through 
from  west  to  east,  that  is  the  "  Street  which  i&  called 
Straight,"  of  The  Acts,  where  the  Apostle  was  healed 
of  his  blindness. 

Damascus  is  shaped  much  like  a  spoon,  the  elon- 
gated and  narrow  Meidan  suburb,  to  the  southward, 
being  the  handle.  It  has  different  quarters,  as  in 


DAMASCUS  367 

Apostolic  times,  the  Jewish  Quarter,  now  as  then, 
being  near  the  "  Street  which  is  called  Straight." 
The  Christian  Quarter  is  to  the  northward,  and  the 
Moslems  occupy  almost  all  the  rest  of  the  place. 
The  population  is  estimated  at  200,000,  three- 
fourths  being  Moslems,  who  have  about  250  mosques 
and  schools.  How  or  when  the  city  originated  is 
unknown,  and  there  are  different  legends  on  the  sub- 
ject, but  it  was  an  independent  kingdom  in  the  time 
of  Solomon,  and  subsequently  most  of  the  wars  and 
politics  of  Israel  and  Judah  related  to  Damascus, 
the  three  kingdoms  being  almost  perpetually  em- 
broiled, until  the  Assyrians,  profiting  by  their  quar- 
rels, came  and  captured  all  three.  Alexander  con- 
quered Damascus  from  Darius,  and  afterward  it  fell 
to  the  Syrian  and  Egyptian  rulers,  and  in  85  B.  C. 
to  Aretas  of  Arabia,  and  then  to  the  Romans,  who 
held  it  for  three  centuries.  It  was,  however,  almost 
always  subject  to  Arab  forays  from  the  neighboring 
desert,  and  the  story  is,  that  the  clay  walls  of  the 
orchards  and  dense  hedges  surrounding  the  city 
were  first  erected  for  protection  from  these  attacks. 
It  was  an  early  seat  of  the  Christians  and  of  the 
ministry  of  St.  Paul,  while  the  Emperor  Theodo- 
sius  converted  its  large  heathen  temple  into  a  Chris- 
tian church.  The  Arabs  captured  it  in  535,  Khalid 
Ibn  Welid,  the  victor  in  the  battle  of  the  Yarmuk 
Eiver  to  the  southward,  taking  advantage  of  the  ab- 
sence of  the  guards  one  night,  scaling  the  wall  by  a 


368  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

rope-ladder,  opening  the  east  gate,  and  thus  gaining 
entrance  for  his  troops,  a  feat  which  caused  the  Da- 
mascenes to  surrender.  Then  began  its  period  of 
splendor,  the  Mohammedan  capital  being  trans- 
ferred from  Medina  to  Damascus,  and  the  Great 
Omayade  Mosque  being  built  by  Welid's  successor, 
in  the  eighth  century.  The  city  was  repeatedly  be- 
sieged, but  in  vain,  by  the  Crusaders,  and  Saladin 
used  it  as  his  base,  in  the  successful  operations 
against  them.  It  had  a  varied  history  afterward, 
being  held  and  plundered  by  Mongols,  Egyptians 
and  Tartars,  while  in  1399  Timur  was  paid  a  ran- 
som of  a  million  pieces  of  gold  to  save  it.  He  car- 
ried off  its  famous  armorers  as  prisoners,  so  that  the 
manufacture  of  Damascus  blades  flourishes  now  at 
Khorassan  and  Samarcand,  but  in  Damascus  this  in- 
dustry long  ago  ceased.  The  Turks  got  possession 
in  the  sixteenth  century,  and  have  since  held  it.  In 
1860,  it  was  disgraced  by  a  horrible  massacre  of 
the  Christians,  fourteen  thousand  being  slain  and 
their  quarter  almost  destroyed.  It  has  since  become 
rather  decadent,  the  opening  of  the  Suez  Canal 
diminishing  its  caravan  trade  to  the  Indies,  though 
the  fertile  environment  supports  a  large  population. 
There  has,  however,  been  some  recent  revival,  an 
electric  street  railway  being  constructed,  and  electric 
lights  introduced  into  the  Great  Mosque  and  other 
buildings  and  the  principal  streets,  a  most  aston- 
ishing innovation  in  the  old  Arab  city. 


DAMASCUS  369 

The  Great  Mosque  is  about  430  feet  long  and  125 
feet  wide.  A  heathen  temple  stood  on  the  site,  and 
was  converted  into  a  Christian  church,  in  the  early 
fifth  century,  being  called  the  Church  of  St.  John, 
as  it  contained  a  casket  in  which  the  head  of  John 
the  Baptist  was  shown,  the  townspeople  even  yet 
swearing  by  this  "  Head  of  Yahia."  For  a  time, 
after  the  Moslem  capture,  they  held  the  east  side, 
and  the  Christians  the  west  side  of  this  church,  both 
entering  to  worship  by  the  same  gate.  Then  the 
Khalif  Welid,  who  reigned,  beginning  in  705,  re- 
moved the  Christians  from  their  side,  giving  them 
other  churches  in  the  city,  and,  taking  away  the 
greater  part  of  the  structure,  he  erected  the  mosque. 
Extravagant  descriptions  are  given  of  its  early  splen- 
dors by  Arabic  authors,  the  architects  being  Greeks, 
and  twelve  hundred  artists  coming  from  Constan- 
tinople and  elsewhere  for  its  decoration.  Grand 
columns  were  gathered  from  all  parts  of  Syria  for 
it,  the  rarest  marbles  covered  the  pavements  and 
lower  walls,  mosaics  enriching  the  upper  portions 
and  the  dome.  Precious  stones  were  inlaid  in  the 
prayer  niches ;  golden  vines  entwined  their  arches ; 
the  wooden  ceiling  was  decorated  with  gold,  and 
from  it  hung  six  hundred  golden  lamps.  To  cap  all, 
the  cost  became  so  great  that  the  bills  rendered  to  the 
khalif,  by  the  artificers,  are  said  to  have  made 
loads  for  eighteen  mules.  The  structure  was  partly 

burnt  in  the  twelfth  century,  and  again  in  1893,  but 
VOL.  11—24 


370  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

there  lias  been  a  restoration  recently.  The  chief  min- 
aret of  the  mosque  —  el  Gharbijeh  —  is  its  master- 
piece, and  rises  on  the  southwest  side,  an  octagon, 
with  three  galleries,  one  above  the  other,  and  taper- 
ing at  the  top,  surmounted  by  a  ball  that  is  crowned 
with  a  crescent.  There  are  two  smaller  minarets  — 
el  Arus,  or  the  "  bride's  minaret,"  on  the  northern 
side,  and  the  Madinet  Isa,  on  the  southwestern  side, 
so  called  from  a  tradition  that  at  the  Last  Judgment 
Jesus  will  take  His  place  on  its  top. 

Unlike  most  mosques,  the  interior  resembles  a 
church,  there  being  a  nave  and  aisles,  formed  by 
two  rows  of  columns,  and  a  transept  crossing,  made 
by  four  massive  piers.  The  columns  are  about 
twenty-three  feet  high  and  graceful  colonettes  sur- 
mount them.  The  richly  painted  beams  above  sup- 
port pointed  ceilings,  from  which  the  lamps  are 
hung.  The  interior  is  open  toward  the  large  court. 
The  names  of  the  early  khalifs  and  texts  from  the 
Koran  are  liberally  inscribed.  The  dome  rises  upon 
an  octagonal  substructure,  and  is  called  the  Kubbet 
en  Nisr,  the  "  dome  of  the  vulture,"  because  the 
aisles  of  the  mosque,  as  seen  in  looking  down  from 
it,  are  thought  to  resemble  the  bird's  outspread 
wings.  In  the  transept  is  a  gilded  building,  sur- 
mounted by  a  crescent,  said  to  stand  over  the  head 
of  John  the  Baptist,  which  the  Khalid  ibn  Welid, 
according  to  tradition,  found  in  a  crypt  below. 
Near  by  is  a  handsome  pulpit,  and  toward  the  court 


DAMASCUS  371 

the  "  Fountain  of  John."  This  court  is  surrounded 
by  columns,  supporting  forty-seven  arches,  partly  of 
horseshoe  shape,  and  has  in  the  centre  the  Kubbet 
en  Naufara,  the  "  dome  of  the  fountain,"  which  the 
Moslems  describe  as  standing  midway  on  the  route 
between  Constantinople  and  Mecca.  Here  they  per- 
form their  ablutions  before  prayer.  At  the  end  of 
the  southern,  transept  are  the  remains  of  the  beau- 
tiful gate  which  the  Christians  and  Moslems  are 
said  to  have  alike  used  to  enter  the  early  structure. 
Above  it,  in  Greek,  is  the  inscription :  "  Thy  king- 
dom, O  Christ,  is  an  everlasting  kingdom,  and  thy 
dominion  endureth  throughout  all  generations." 
There  are  two  Moslem  schools  adjoining  the  mosque, 
and  also  the  handsome  mausoleum  of  Saladin,  while 
a  little  farther  away  is  the  tomb  of  the  Sultan 
Beibars,  a  red  sandstone  structure,  with  an  impres- 
sive portal,  built  in  the  thirteenth  century.  Here 
rest  that  famous  conqueror  and  his  son.  The  Citadel 
of  Damascus  is  a  short  distance  west  of  the  mosque, 
built  alongside  the  main  channel  of  the  Barada,  a 
large  square  structure,  also  of  the  thirteenth  cen- 
tury, with  very  thick  walls,  and  surrounded  by  a 
moat  that  on  the  southern  side  is  covered  by  a 
bazaar  and  street. 

Damascus  has  few  antiquities  or  ancient  build- 
ings. Its  chief  attraction  for  the  visitor  is  the  va- 
riety of  costumes  of  the  people,  the  motley  traffic 
of  the  streets,  and  the  extensive  bazaars,  where  all 


372  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

kinds  of  trade  are  carried  on.  These  bazaars,  or 
Suks,  have  long  been  celebrated,  and  are  among 
the  most  famous  in  the  Orient.  They  are  narrow 
covered  lanes,  with  ranges  of  open  stalls  on  each  side, 
every  department  of  trade  having  its  own  section. 
Directly  through  them  runs  the  "  Long  Bazaar,"  the 
Suk  et  Tawileh,  extending  almost  across  the  entire 
ancient  city,  and  which  corresponds  to  the  "  Street 
which  is  called  Straight."  It  originally  had,  on 
each  side,  a  double  colonnade,  and  there  still  re- 
main fragments  of  these  columns,  within  and  front- 
ing some  of  the  houses.  Nearly  all  the  public  life 
of  the  city  is  presented  in  these  bazaars,  and  here 
is  conducted  most  of  the  trade.  The  long  and  nar- 
row suburb  of  the  Meidan  stretches  a  mile  south- 
ward, and  is  mostly  of  modern  construction,  but 
its  mosques  are  generally  dilapidated.  This  is  a 
Bedouin  district,  and  they  and  the  Kurds,  and  peas- 
ants from  the  mountainous  Hauran  district  to  the 
southward,  are  numerous.  These  people  appear  in 
crowds,  especially  on  the  two  great  days  of  the  year 
in  Damascus,  that  on  which  the  caravan  of  pilgrims 
starts  for  Mecca,  and  the  day  of  the  return.  The 
starting  place  is  at  the  end  of  the  Meidan,  called 
Bauwabet  Allah,  or  the  "Gate  of  God."  This 
pilgrimage  is  not  so  extensive  as  formerly,  how- 
ever, as  many  of  the  pilgrims  now  go  by  sea,  rather 
than  overland,  but  it  is  nevertheless  interesting. 
The  holy  tent  of  the  pilgrim  caravan  is  preserved 


DAMASCUS  S73 

in  the  Great  Mosque.  An  escort  of  soldiers,  Bed- 
ouins, Druses,  and  many  dervishes  usually  accom- 
panies the  procession,  and  a  handsome  camel,  richly 
caparisoned,  bears  a  large  litter,  hung  with  green 
and  gold  embroidered  cloth,  which  carries  an  old 
and  revered  Koran  and  the  prophet's  green  flag. 
Eastward  of  the  Meidan  is  the  ancient  burial 
ground,  where  two  of  Mohammed's  wives  and  his 
daughter  Fatima  were  interred,  the  women  of  Da- 
mascus going  there  every  Thursday  to  commune  at 
their  graves,  over  which  has  been  built  a  modern 
dome  of  clay.  Here  also  was  buried  Muawiya,  the 
first  khalif  of  the  Omayades,  and  in  a  mosque  near 
by  is  the  tomb  of  Abu  Ubeida,  the  commander  of 
the  Arabs  who  captured  Damascus.  Farther  east- 
ward, in  the  city  wall,  is  the  Bab  Kisan,  a  gate 
built  by  the  Arabs  in  Muawiya's  time,  in  the  eighth 
century,  and  the  Moslems  yet  solemnly  point  out 
a  window  above  the  wall  as  the  one  where  the  dis- 
ciples let  down  St.  Paul  in  a  basket  by  night,  so  that 
he  might  escape  from  his  enemies  within  the  city. 
The  place  of  his  conversion  is  located,  by  tradition, 
upon  the  approaching  highway  just  outside  this  gate. 
At  the  southern  end  of  the  Meidan  are  railway 
stations.  One  is  for  the  narrow  gauge  road  of 
sixty-three  miles  into  the  mountainous  Hauran 
district,  and  the  other  is  for  the  Hedjaz  railway, 
also  a  narrow  gauge  road.  The  Hedjaz  is  the  long 
and  narrow  Arabian  province  upon  the  eastern 


374  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

shore  of  the  Red  Sea  in  which  are  the  two  sacred 
cities  of  Islam,  Medina  and  Mecca,  the  latter  near 
its  southern  termination,  and  having  its  port  of 
Jiddah  out  on  the  Red  Sea  coast.  This  Hedjaz  rail- 
way is  being  constructed  under  the  auspices  of  the 
Turkish  sultan,  and  was  begun  in  August,  1900,  as 
a  pious  undertaking  to  facilitate  the  pilgrimages  of 
the  faithful  to  Mecca,  and  for  this  work  contribu- 
tions and  tithes  are  gathered,  not  only  throughout 
Turkey,  but  from  all  Mohammedan  countries.  The 
distance  from  Damascus  to  Mecca  is  about  1,120 
miles,  and  in  1906  the  road  was  opened  to  El  Ma-an, 
285  miles  from  Damascus,  a  small  place,  where  the 
caravans  to  Mecca  formerly  stopped  for  rest  and 
water.  This  is  near  Petra  in  Arabia,  the  road 
closely  following  the  old  caravan  route  of  the  pil- 
grims, and  the  opening  of  that  portion  of  the  line 
brought  in  a  large  increase  of  the  farming  popula- 
tion. South  of  El-Ma-an  the  road  climbs  an  eleva- 
tion of  3,700  feet,  and  then  descends  into  the  dry 
plain  of  Tebuk,  sacred  to  the  memory  of  the 
prophet,  who  knelt  here  in  prayer,  after  the  first 
repulse  of  the  Moslem  force  which  invaded  Syria, 
and  prophesied  that  here,  amid  the  desolation,  a  town 
would  one  day  arise.  Then  the  road  mounts 
another  summit  ridge  of  3,750  feet,  the  Dar  el 
Hamra,  or  the  "  Red  Land,"  amid  sharp  peaks  of 
red  sandstone  in  serried  rows,  rising  from  foothills 
of  yellow  sand,  making  weird  scenery.  Descending 


SOURCES  OF  THE  JORDAN         375 

to  Medain  Saleh  and  Heliah,  it  afterward  has  an 
easy  ascent  to  Medina,  where  it  was  completed  in 
August,  1908,  and  opened  with  an  elaborate  cere- 
mony September  1st,  the  anniversary  of  the  Sultan's 
accession.  This  sacred  city,  the  burial  place  of  the 
prophet,  is  about  700  miles  from  Damascus,  and  the 
entire  road  to  Mecca,  where  he  was  born,  is  expected 
to  be  finished  by  1913.  A  branch  is  contemplated 
from  Mecca  to  Jiddah  on  the  Red  Sea  coast. 
Another  branch  leaves  the  line  at  Daraa,  about  sev- 
enty-seven miles  south  of  Damascus,  and  goes  out 
to  the  Mediterranean  shore  at  Haifa.  Over  this 
Hedjaz  railway  a  large  portion  of  the  Moslem  pil- 
grimage from  Turkey,  Persia  and  Syria,  to  Mecca, 
now  travels,  the  pilgrims  taking  the  camel  caravans 
beyond  the  temporary  terminus. 

SOTJKCES    OP    THE    JORDAN. 

Westward  from  Damascus  rises  the  massive  sum- 
mit of  Mount  Hermon,  and  upon  its  flanks  are  the 
sources  of  the  chief  river  of  Palestine,  and  one  of 
the  most  famous  in  the  world  —  the  Jordan.  This 
mountain,  against  whose  cool  slopes  blow  the  moist 
winds  from  the  sea,  condenses  a  vast  amount  of 
vapor,  and  thus  the  "  dews  of  Hermon,"  that  were 
so  welcome  to  the  Israelites,  supply  many  springs 
which,  on  its  western  and  southern  declivities,  com- 
bine in  three  brooks.  These  unite,  at  a  place  called 
Sheikh  Yusuf,  to  form  the  sacred  river,  having  an 


376  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

initial  width  of  about  forty-five  feet.  The  Jordan 
is  known  as  the  "  swift  flowing,"  and  is  also  the 
Arabic  esh  Sheria,  or  the  "  watering  place."  The 
historical  source  of  the  river  is  at  Baniyas,  in  a  nook 
on  the  southwestern  slope  of  the  mountain,  elevated 
1,080  feet  above  the  sea  level,  which  is  now  only  a 
small  village,  but  anciently  much  larger,  when  it  was 
the  Greek  Paneas,  and  subsequently  became  the 
Cassarea  Philippi  of  Herod.  This  is  said  to  have 
been  the  most  northerly  place  visited  by  Christ,  and 
an  early  Christian  tradition  indicates  that  here  oc- 
curred the  healing  of  the  woman  with  the  issue  of 
blood,  recorded  by  St.  Matthew.  The  town  had  a 
castle,  of  which  several  towers  and  some  walls  re- 
main, while  overlooking  it  from  an  outlying  spur 
of  the  mountain  is  the  massive  castle  of  Subeibeh, 
one  of  the  greatest  strongholds  in  the  Holy  Land, 
built  by  the  Franks,  in  the  twelfth  century.  This 
source  of  the  Jordan  is  in  a  cavern,  where  a  pre- 
cipitous cliff  of  red  limestone  has  been  broken  down 
by  some  natural  convulsion,  so  that  masses  of  rocks 
and  debris  choke  the  entrance.  Underneath  these 
the  waters  rush  out  in  many  rivulets,  that  first  form 
a  beautiful  clear  basin  and  then  flow  swiftly  away. 
This  place  was  long  sacred  to  the  sylvan  god  Pan, 
and  in  the  face  of  the  cliff  are  votive  niches,  while 
alongside  stood  the  ancient  Paneion  and  Temple  of 
Herod,  which  he  built  over  the  outlet  of  the  stream, 
in  honor  of  Augustus. 


SOURCES  OF  THE  JORDAN         377 

A  little  way  Avestward  is  the  most  copious  source 
of  the  Jordan,  though  at  an  elevation  that  is  some 
500  feet  lower.  This  is  the  Tel  el  Kadi,  or  the 
"  Hill  of  the  Judge,"  an  extensive  mound,  rising 
about  thirty  or  forty  feet  above  the  plain.  The  Kadi 
is  the  Arabic  Judge,  and  Dan  is  the  Hebrew  Judge. 
On  this  mound  was  the  ancient  city  of  Dan,  the 
northern  frontier  town  of  the  land  of  Israel,  de- 
scribed in  the  Bible  as  extending  from  Dan  to  Beer- 
sheba.  It  was  originally  the  Tyrian  city  of  Laish, 
before  King  Benhadad  of  Syria  got  possession,  and 
it  became  the  portion  of  the  Danites.  On  the  west- 
ern side  is  the  most  copious  fountain  in  Syria, 
forming  a  basin  nearly  two  hundred  feet  in  diameter, 
from  which  the  stream  emerges,  which  Josephus 
called  the  Lesser  Jordan.  This  source  provides 
twice  as  much  water  as  the  stream  from  Baniyas,  and 
three  times  as  much  as  the  third  source,  and  much 
larger  stream,  the  Hasbani,  that  comes  down  from 
farther  north,  originating  on  the  slope  of  Hermon 
near  Hasbeiya.  High  to  the  westward  of  this  latter 
stream  rises  the  Jebel  Hunin,  2,953  feet,  sur- 
mounted by  another  great  fortress  of  the  middle 
ages,  towering  more  than  2,000  feet  above  the  Has- 
bani valley.  This  castle  was  greatly  damaged  by  an 
earthquake  in  1837.  Jebel  Hunin  is  said  to  have 
been  the  Beth  Rehob,  the  most  northerly  point  in  the 
"  Promised  Land,"  reached  by  the  spies  of  Moses, 
as  recorded  in  the  book  of  Numbers.  The  Hasbani 


378  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

flows  for  about  fifteen  miles  before  joining  the  other 
sources,  and  that  from  Baniyas  flows  for  five  miles, 
descending  mostly  through  thickets  and  cane-brakes. 
It  goes  down  from  the  source  nearly  1,100  feet  in 
twelve  miles  from  Baniyas  to  Lake  Huleh,  the  famed 
"  waters  of  Merom,"  that  lake  being  about  at  sea 
level. 

The  Jordan  is  very  tortuous,  but  its  general  course 
is  toward  the  south,  and  mostly  in  a  deep  trough-like 
valley,  called  the  Ghor,  which  follows  the  line  of  a 
"  fault "  or  fracture  in  the  earth's  surface,  and  for 
more  than  two-thirds  of  its  course  the  river  flows 
below  the  sea  level.  The  Jordan  is  unnavigable ;  no 
important  town  has  been  built  on  its  banks;  and  it 
runs  into  the  Dead  Sea,  which  has  neither  outlet 
nor  port>  and  is  practically  destitute  of  animal  life. 
Prom  its  sources  to  the  Dead  Sea,  the  Jordan  rushes 
down  an  almost  continuous  inclined  plane,  here  and 
there  broken  by  rapids  and  small  falls.  From 
Huleh  to  the  Sea  of  Galilee  is  a  little  over  ten  miles, 
and  the  river  descent  is  682  feet.  Galilee  is  nearly 
thirteen  miles  long,  and  after  leaving  it,  the  river 
at  first  descends  about  forty  feet  per  mile,  but  the 
fall  gradually  decreases  to  only  four  or  five  feet  per 
mile  nearer  the  Dead  Sea.  In  this  section  the  Jor- 
dan is  so  crooked  that  in  a  direct  distance  of  sixty- 
five  miles  it  traverses  at  least  two  hundred  miles. 
Its  actual  flow  is  in  a  depression  called  the  Zor,  from 
a  quarter  to  two  miles  wide,  which  the  current  has 


SOURCES  OP  THE  JORDAN         379 

hollowed  out  for  itself  in  the  bed  of  the  Ghor.  Dur- 
ing the  rainy  season  of  winter,  when  the  Jordan 
overflows  its  banks,  the  Zor  is  flooded,  and  when  the 
torrent  declines,  the  valley  produces  rich  crops. 
The  total  length,  in  a  direct  line  from  Baniyas  to 
the  Dead  Sea,  is  one  hundred  and  four  miles,  and 
the  Dead  Sea  level  is  nearly  1,300  feet  below  the 
Mediterranean,  so  that  the  whole  descent  of  the  river 
is  over  2,300  feet.  South  of  Galilee  the  Ghor  varies 
in  width  from  four  to  fourteen  miles.  Where  it  is 
joined  by  the  Plain  of  Esdraelon,  the  width  is  about 
eight  miles.  The  river  is  mostly  hidden,  in  the  Zor, 
by  a  dense  jungle  of  cane,  willow  and  tamarack, 
growing  to  the  water's  edge  in  the  sunken  channel, 
the  Zor  generally  having  steep  banks  fifty  to  one 
hundred  feet  high.  For  the  last  few  miles,  the 
stream  is  free  from  jungle,  flowing  through  a  muddy 
flat,  and  is  one  hundred  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet 
in  width.  In  summer  the  heat  of  the  Ghor  is  intense, 
rising  to  110°  in  the  shade,  but  in  the  winter  nights 
the  temperature  will  decline  to  the  freezing  point. 

It  is  a  significant  historical  fact  that  in  the  year 
1257,  the  Jordan,  for  several  hours,  was  dammed  by 
a  landslip,  due  to  heavy  rains,  near  the  spot  opposite 
Jericho,  where  a  similar  stoppage  took  place  when 
the  Israelites  crossed.  Two  stone  bridges  cross  the 
river,  one  above  and  the  other  below  Lake  Huleh, 
and  a  wooden  bridge  crosses  on  the  road  from  Jeru- 
salem to  Gilead  and  Moab,  over  on  the  eastern  side. 


380  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

There  anciently  were  bridges,  built  by  the  Romans 
and  the  Arabs,  on  all  the  leading  routes  of  commu- 
nication between  eastern  and  western  Palestine. 
When  not  in  flood,  the  river  is  easily  fordable,  and 
between  the  Sea  of  Galilee  and  the  Dead  Sea  are 
more  than  fifty  fords,  some  being  of  great  historic 
interest,  and  the  most  important  Abarah,  near  Baisan, 
and  Bethabara,  east  of  Jericho.  The  Yarmuk  and 
Jabbuk  are  tributary  streams,  on  the  eastern  side, 
and  on  the  western  are  the  Jelud,  passing  Baisan 
and  Faria,  coming  from  Shechem.  Many  salt 
springs  flow  into  the  lower  river.  This  remarkable 
Jordan  valley  has  been  well  described  as  a  tropi- 
cal oasis  sunken  in  the  temperate  zone  and  over- 
hung by  the  Alpine  Hermon,  so  that  its  products  are 
varied  and  unique. 

Lake  Huleh,  the  upper  collecting  basin  of  the  Jor- 
dan, is  a  shallow,  triangular  lake,  from  ten  to  sixteen 
feet  in  depth,  with  jungle-bordered  and  swampy 
shores,  especially  on  the  north,  where  there  is  a  pro- 
fuse growth  of  papyrus.  A  little  way  to  the  north- 
west is  Kades,  the  Kedesh  of  the  tribe  of  Naphtali, 
which  was  the  native  place  of  Barak,  who  was  Deb- 
orah's general,  and  both  were  entombed  here.  It 
is  now  a  small  village,  with  some  interesting  remains. 
To  the  southwest  is  the  large  town  of  Safed,  with 
thirty  thousand  people,  the  highest  in  Galilee,  its 
elevation  being  2,749  feet,  and  its  ruined  castle,  com- 
manding a  magnificent  view,  is  a  survival  of  the 


GALILEE  381 

wars  between  the  Crusaders  and  the  Saracens.  It 
is  overlooked  by  the  highest  mountains  in  Pales- 
tine, west  of  the  Jordan,  Jebel  Jermak,  rising  3,933 
feet,  and  on  the  southern  horizon  is  the  magnificent 
summit  of  Mount  Tabor.  This  is  regarded  as  a 
sacred  town,  for,  according  to  the  Jewish  tradition, 
the  Messiah  is  to  come  from  Safed.  After  the  six- 
teenth century,  it  was  the  seat  of  a  noted  rabbini- 
cal school,  of  which  the  most  learned  teachers  were 
Spanish  Jews.  To  the  southward,  on  the  caravan 
route  leading  from  the  sea  coast  at  Acre,  inland  to 
Damascus,  is  the  ruined  Kahn  Jubb  Yusuf,  which 
gets  its  name  from  an  Arabian  tradition,  that  here 
was  the  pit  into  which  Joseph  was  thrown  by  his 
brethren,  and  the  more  enthusiastic  townsfolk  still 
show  the  pit. 

GALILEE. 

The  land  of  Galilee  is  the  region  to  the  north 
and  west  of  Lake  Tiberias,  being  "  the  district  of 
the  heathens,"  which  was  colonized  by  the  Jewish 
tribes  of  Asher,  Zebulon  and  Issachar,  that  ulti- 
mately extended  over  to  the  Litani  and  the  Plain  of 
Esdraelon.  It  was  a  land  of  beauty  and  fertility, 
with  rich  pastures  and  luxuriant  groves,  and,  in  the 
Kdman  days  was  densely  populated,  attaining  its 
highest  prosperity  at  the  time  of  Christ,  when  Herod 
Antipas  founded  its  capital  on  the  shore  of  the  lake, 
naming  it  Tiberias  in  honor  of  the  Roman  Emperor. 


382  THE  MEDITEKRANEAN 

In  coming  southward,  along  the  roads  from  Huleh, 
into  this  pleasant  region,  and  descending  the  Jordan 
valley,  the  rider  is  all  the  while  rounding  the  green 
sides  of  Mount  Tabor,  and  threading  its  oaken 
groves  on  the  lower  slopes,  the  famous  mountain 
being  in  sight  almost  throughout  the  journey  down 
to  Jerusalem.  Just  below  Huleh,  the  Jisr  Benat 
Yakub,  the  "  Bridge  of  the  Daughters  of  Jacob," 
crosses  the  Jordan,  which  is  here  about  eighty  feet 
wide,  this  stone  bridge  of  the  fifteenth  century  hav- 
ing three  arches.  This  was  the  great  caravan  route 
of  ancient  times  between  Egypt  and  Damascus  and 
the  Euphrates,  and  Jacob  is  said  to  have  here  crossed 
the  Jordan  at  a  ford.  The  steep  river  banks  are 
bordered  with  oleanders  and  papyrus,  and  there  are 
remains  of  a  Templar  castle,  which  once  controlled 
the  crossing.  The  Jordan  flows  briskly  down  to  the 
Lake  of  Tiberias,  through  its  deep  gorge,  and 
emerges  upon  a  plain  at  the  north  end  of  the  lake, 
there  being  on  a  hill  slope  the  ruins  of  El-Tell,  the 
Biblical  Bethsaida,  "  the  house  of  fish,"  which  was 
the  birthplace  of  Peter  and  John,  and  was  rebuilt 
by  Philip,  the  son  of  Herod,  as  a  Roman  town,  being 
named  Julias  after  the  daughter  of  Augustus. 

The  Lake  of  Tiberias  was  anciently  Kinneret,  a 
name  derived  from  its  irregular  oval  form  likened 
to  a  kinner  or  lute.  This  name  subsequently  be- 
came Gennesaret,  and  the  lake  is  also  called  the  Sea 
of  Galilee.  It  is  about  thirteen  miles  long  and  six 


Tiberias  and  the  Sea  of  Galilee. 


GALILEE  383 

miles  wide,  the  waters  in  places  being  160  feet  deep, 
and  the  surface  is  681  feet  below  sea  level,  when  in 
normal  form.  It  has  rich  soils  all  around,  and  green 
sloping  shores,  the  blue  waters  presenting  a  pleasant 
view.  On  the  western  shore  is  Tabariyeh,  the  an- 
cient Tiberias,  the  capital,  with  its  black  basalt 
houses,  beautiful  mosque  minaret,  numerously 
domed  serai  or  town-hall,  and  various  churches.  On 
the  hill  to  the  north  the  ruins  of  the  extensive  castle 
overlook  the  town,  and  near  by  is  the  tomb  of  the 
famous  Jewish  philosopher  Maimonides,  who  lived 
in  the  twelfth  century.  There  are  synagogues  on 
the  bank  of  the  lake,  and  upon  this  shore  we  are  told 
took  place  the  miraculous  draught  of  fishes.  The 
extensive  ruins,  south  of  the  town,  show  that  the 
ancient  city  covered  a  much  larger  surface.  The 
hot  saline  and  sulphur  springs  are  much  extolled. 
There  are  five  thousand  people  here,  about  two- 
thirds  being  Jews.  After  Titus  destroyed  Jerusa- 
lem, Tiberias  became  the  chief  seat  of  the  Jewish 
nation,  the  Sanhedrim  and  School  of  the  Talmud 
being  brought  here,  and  in  the  second  century,  the 
ancient  traditional  law,  known  as  the  Mishna,  was 
published  at  Tiberias.  The  study  of  the  Talmud  is 
still  flourishing.  Saladin  attacked  Tiberias,  and 
this  caused  the  battle  of  Hattin  to  the  westward,  in 
which  he  overcame  the  Crusaders,  July,  1187,  and 
captured  Palestine.  On  the  hill  of  Hattin  is  shown 
the  grave  of  Jethro,  and  it  is  also  called  the  "  Moun- 


384:  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

tain  of  the  Beatitudes,"  being  regarded  as  the  scene 
of  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount. 

On  the  lake  shore,  north  of  Tiberias,  is  the  little 
village  of  Mejdel,  which  was  Magdala,  the  birth- 
place of  Mary  Magdalen.  A  gorge  conies  down, 
having  bordering  cliffs  nearly  1,200  feet  high,  and 
the  ruins  of  a  castle  survive,  which  was  composed 
mostly  of  caverns  in  the  rocks  connected  by  passages, 
an  almost  inaccessible  fastness,  haunted  by  robbers 
in  the  Biblical  times.  Herod  besieged  them,  and 
could  only  reach  and  destroy  them  by  letting  down 
soldiers,  in  cages,  on  the  face  of  the  cliff,  to  the 
mouths  of  the  caverns.  Hermits  afterward  sought 
refuge  in  these  caves.  Numerous  springs  and 
streams  feed  the  lake,  among  them  being  the  copious 
fountain  of  the  Ain  et  Tabigha,  the  "  seven  springs," 
once  supposed  to  be  the  scene  of  the  miraculous  feed- 
ing of  the  multitude,  mentioned  by  St.  Mark.  On 
the  northwestern  border  of  the  lake  is  Tell  Hum, 
which  has  extensive  ruins,  and  was  the  ancient  Ca- 
pernaum. Here  was  St.  Peter's  house,  and  in  the 
sixth  century  a  church  was  erected  on  the  site. 
The  Franciscans  now  control  the  place.  Up  the 
ravine  of  a  brook,  coming  out  of  the  northwestern 
hills,  are  the  ruins  of  Kerazeh,  which  was  the  ancient 
Chorazin,  an  important  town  at  the  beginning  of 
the  Christian  era.  Across  on  the  eastern  shore  of 
the  lake  are  ruins  of  cities  of  Biblical  times,  among 
them  Gamala,  of  the  "  possessed  swine,"  which  got 


GALILEE  385 

its  name  from  the  resemblance  of  the  hill,  on  which 
it  stood,  to  the  back  of  a  camel,  Susiyeh,  the  old 
time  Hippos,  and  Kursi,  which  was  the  Gergesa  of 
St.  Matthew.  To  the  westward  of  the  lake,  on  the 
road  from  Tiberias  to  Nazareth,  is  El-Meshhed,  the 
Goth-Hepher  of  Zebulon,  which  was  Jonah's  birth- 
place, and  near  by  is  the  spring  of  Kafr  Kenna,  the 
Cana  of  John,  where  the  water  was  made  wine. 
Here  are  both  Roman  and  Greek  churches,  the  latter 
having  stone  jars  that  are  solemnly  exhibited  as 
having  been  the  ones  used  in  the  miracle.  The 
actual  site  is  now  occupied  by  a  ruined  synagogue, 
which  stands  where 

The  conscious  water  saw  its  God  and  blushed. 

The  shores  of  the  Lake  of  Tiberias  are  not  pleas- 
ant as  a  habitation.  Lying  so  low,  and  being  shut 
in  by  the  western  hills,  the  climate  in  summer  is 
very  warm,  with  high  thermometer,  ague  and  fevers 
abounding.  The  Jordan  flows  out  of  the  southern 
end  of  the  lake,  at  first  in  a  comparatively  straight 
course,  but  soon  becomes  wayward  and  tortuous. 
To  the  westward  rise  the  noble  green  slopes  of  Mount 
Tabor,  dominating  the  view.  The  Jordan  receives 
the  Yarmuk  just  below  the  outlet  of  the  lake,  which 
comes  from  the  Hauran  Mountains,  off  to  the  north- 
east, and  contributes  a  volume  of  water  fully  equal 
to  that  flowing  from  the  lake.  Farther  down,  the 

railway  from  the  coast  to  Damascus,  crosses  the  Jor- 
VOL.  11—25 


386  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

dan  at  the  Mujami  bridge,  a  structure  about  two 
hundred  feet  long,  and  the  road  then  ascends  the 
vale  of  the  Yarmuk.  About  sixteen  miles  south  of 
the  lake,  the  ravine  of  the  Jalud  tributary  is  cut 
steeply  down  through  the  western  hills  to  the  Ghof, 
and  thus  brings  in  the  railway.  In  an  expansion  of 
this  valley,  elevated  about  300  feet  above  the  river, 
is  the  village  of  Beisan,  which  was  the  Beth  Sheen 
of  the  Old  Testament,  and  the  Scythopolis  of  the 
Greeks  and  Romans,  then  a  much  more  important 
place  than  now.  To  the  northward  rises  Mount 
Gilboa,  and  westward,  toward  Mount  Carmel, 
spreads  the  Plain  of  Esdraelon,  whence  comes  the 
Jalud.  In  Saul's  time  it  was  in  the  territory  of 
Manasseh,  though  belonging  to  the  Canaanites,  and 
when  Saul,  from  Mount  Gilboa,  came  here  to  battle 
on  the  plain,  and  was  beaten  by  the  Philistines,  his 
body,  and  those  of  his  sons,  were  gibbeted  at 
Beth  Sheen  until  the  men  of  Gilead  took  them  down 
and  gave  them  honorable  burial.  Then  was  made 
David's  plaintive  lament  for  Saul  and  Jonathan. 
There  are  numerous  ruins  all  about,  showing  its 
ancient  extent  and  importance  —  theatres,  forts, 
churches,  temples  and  tombs. 

SAMABIA. 

Ancient  Samaria  was  the  district  of  central  Pal- 
estine, westward  of  the  Jordan,  and  its  name  came 
from  the  isolated,  terraced  hill,  rising  more  than 


SAMARIA.  387 

three  hundred  feet  above  the  lowlands  of  the  plain, 
whereon  is  now  the  village  of  Sebastiyeh.  This  was 
originally  Shamron,  the  "  watch  hill,"  founded  by 
King  Omri  of  Israel,  in  the  ninth  century  B.  C.  It 
was  the  capital  for  a  time,  until  taken  by  the  Assyr- 
ians. Herod  rebuilt  it,  as  Sebaste,  the  Greek  name 
for  Augusta,  and  here  St.  Philip  preached  the  Gos- 
pel, as  recorded  in  The  Acts.  High  upon  the  hill- 
top, the  Crusaders'  Church  of  St.  John  the  Baptist, 
a  long  way  off,  catches  the  eye,  as  the  visitor  ap- 
proaches the  town.  It  is  now  a  mosque,  and  is  said 
to  have  been  built  over  St.  John's  tomb,  the  Mos- 
lems reverencing  him  as  a  prophet.  They  take  you 
down  into  a  small  chamber,  hewn  out  of  the  rock,' 
in  the  crypt,  and  look  through  apertures  into  three 
empty  tomb-chambers,  and  the  tradition  is  told  that 
these  were  the  tombs  of  Elisha,  of  Obadiah,  and  of 
John  the  Baptist.  There  are  extensive  ruins  in  the 
town,  showing  that  it  once  had  elaborate  structures. 
The  summit  of  the  hill,  whereon  Herod  erected  his 
temple,  is  at  an  elevation  of  1,452  feet  above  the  sea, 
and  Isaiah  compared  it  to  a  crown,  the  outlook  over 
the  lower  and  gently  sloping  hills,  all  around,  being 
superb. 

On  a  terrace  below  is  the  Street  of  Columns, 
which  Herod  carried  around  the  hill,  making 
a  colonnade  more  than  a  mile  long  and  sixty  feet 
wide,  some  of  the  columns  being  monoliths,  and 
still  standing.  The  hill  gave  its  name  to  the  re- 


388  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

ligious  sect  of  the  Samaritans,  which  is  still  repre- 
sented by  a  few  families  here,  though  there  is  a 
larger  community  of  them,  numbering  possibly  two 
hundred,  at  Nabulus  to  the  southward.  They  claim 
to  possess  the  orthodox  religion  of  Moses,  and  de- 
clare that  the  true  sanctuary  of  God's  choice  is 
Mount  Gerizim,  overhanging  that  city,  where  they 
anciently  had  a  temple. 

l^abulus,  which  was  the  Greek  name  for  Shechem, 
the  patriarchal  city  of  the  "  shoulder  back,"  com- 
manding the  pass  on  the  road  to  Jerusalem,  is  but  a 
little  way  southward.  Here  the  route  to  the  Holy 
City  turns  toward  the  east,  to  go  through  the  moun- 
tain gorge,  between  Ebal  to  the  north,  the  summit 
rising  3,077  feet,  and  Gerizim  to  the  southward, 
elevated  2,849  feet.  This  is  the  vale  of  Shechem, 
and  provides  an  easy  route  between  the  coastal  plain 
of  the  Mediterranean  and  the  deep  Jordan  depres- 
sion to  the  eastward,  and  at  the  highest  point  of  the 
watershed,  elevated  about  1,870  feet,  the  vale  is  not 
more  than  300  feet  wide.  Here  stands  the  city  of 
]STabulus,  commanding  not  only  the  great  road,  com- 
ing north  from  Jerusalem,  and  branching  here,  both 
to  the  northeast  and  to  the  northwest,  but  also  other 
routes  from  the  coast  going  over  to  the  Jordan. 
The  situation  of  ancient  Shechem,  at  the  junction 
of  so  many  important  roads,  gave  it  strategic  power 
in  early  times,  and  it  is  still  a  busy  town  of  twenty- 
five  thousand  people,  with  a  military  garrison,  and 


SAMARIA  389 

having  considerable  trade.  The  settlement  was  said 
to  be  old  in  the  days  of  Abraham ;  Joshua  gathered 
here  the  last  assembly  of  his  people;  Abimelech,  the 
son  of  Gideon  and  of  a  daughter  of  Shechem,  once 
ruled  it;  Rehoboam's  national  assembly  met  here 
in  the  tenth  century  B.  C. ;  it  was  Jeroboam's  cap- 
ital, and  fifty  years  later  Omri  transferred  his  royal 
residence  to  the  then  newly  founded  Samaria,  the 
name  of  which  gradually  overspread  the  entire 
surrounding  country.  Then  came  the  pagans,  and 
from  their  union  with  Israelites  who  had  been  left 
behind  in  the  Assyrian  conquest  sprang  the  race 
of  Samaritans,  who  built  their  temple  on  Mount 
Gerizim,  where  it  stood  until  129  B.  C.,  when  it 
was  destroyed,  though  the  site  was  always  afterward 
held  sacred.  The  Jews  regarded  the  Samaritans 
reproachfully,  and  in  the  first  century  of  our  era 
Vespasian  conquered  Shechem,  slaying  eleven  thou- 
sand people.  Rebuilt  after  the  war,  the  city  was 
named  Flavia  Neapolis,  whence  came  the  present 
Greek  title  of  ISTabulus.  The  Samaritans  still  con- 
duct their  ancient  religious  ceremonies,  and  they  ex- 
pect the  Messiah  to  appear  here  six  thousand  years 
after  the  creation  of  the  world.  They  celebrate  all 
the  Mosaic  festivals,  and  thrice  annually  make  pil- 
grimages to  their  sacred  Mount  Gerizim. 

Upon  the  large  plateau,  forming  the  summit  of  the 
mountain,  are  the  ruins  of  a  castle  of  the  Roman 
days.  There  are  also  the  foundations  of  an  ancient 


390  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Christian  church,  which  antedated  the  Arab  con- 
quest. At  a  lower  level,  are  some  massive  construc- 
tions, which,  according  to  the  tradition,  are  the 
twelve  stones  of  the  altar  that  Joshua  originally 
erected,  while  in  the  centre  of  the  plateau  is  a  pro- 
jecting rock,  the  Samaritans  describing  it  as  the 
site  of  their  altar.  Profuse  ruins  appear  every- 
where, paved  terraces  and  many  cisterns  showing 
that  the  top  of  the  mountain  once  was  crowned 
with  buildings.  Abraham,  according  to  one  tradi- 
tion, came  here  to  offer  up  his  son  Isaac  as  a  sacrifice, 
and  the  exact  spot  is  pointed  out.  The  noble  pros- 
pect from  the  mountain  top  displays  the  broad  plain 
of  El  Makhna,  to  the  eastward,  with  the  mountains 
of  Gilead  as  a  background  beyond  the  Jordan,  the 
grand  peak  of  Osha,  elevated  3,600  feet,  towering 
conspicuously.  Over  to  the  west  is  the  distant 
blue  band  of  the  Mediterranean,  with  Mount  Carmel 
in  the  northwest.  Mount  Hermon  is  to  the  north- 
ward, but  the  greater  part  of  that  view  is  domi- 
nated by  the  massive  Mount  Ebal,  rising  much 
higher  than  Gerizim,  across  the  narrow  ravine,  down 
in  the  bottom  of  which  is  the  town.  There  are 
ruins  of  a  castle  and  a  church  on  Ebal's  summit, 
and  also  a  Moslem  chapel,  which  attracts  pilgrims, 
and  is  said  to  contain  the  skull  of  John  the  Baptist. 
In  the  town,  nestling  within  the  long  ravine,  are 
many  manufactories  of  olive-oil  soap,  which  is  the 
chief  industry.  There  are  various  Christian  mis- 


Jacob's  Well. 


SAMARIA  391 

sions,  having  churches  and  schools,  and  the  numer- 
ous streams,  coming  from  springs  high  on  the  moun- 
tain sides,  make  rushing  waters  everywhere.  The 
Great  Mosque  of  Nabulus  was  originally  a  Chris- 
tian church,  built  in  Justinian's  reign,  and  rebuilt 
by  the  Crusaders.  There  is  also  the  "  Mosque  of 
Victory,"  another  Crusaders'  church,  the  "  Mosque 
of  the  Lepers,"  some  of  whom  live  here,  and  the 
"  Mosque  of  Heaven,"  standing  on  the  alleged  spot 
where  Jacob  rested  when  Joseph's  coat  was  brought 
him  by  his  brethren.  Yet  another,  and  more  mod- 
ern, mosque  stands  where  the  Moslem  tradition  says 
was  the  "  Tomb  of  Jacob's  Sons."  In  the  Samari- 
tans' synagogue  is  a  codex  of  the  Pentateuch,  which 
they  claim  was  written  by  the  grandson  or  great- 
grandson  of  Aaron ;  but  this  tale  is  doubted. 

The  ravine,  between  the  mountains,  extends  east- 
ward to  the  plain  of  El  Makhna.  The  roads,  coming 
from  the  west  and  the  north,  unite  and  turn  south- 
ward toward  Jerusalem.  Here,  about  a  mile  from 
Shechem,  is  the  traditional  Well  of  Jacob.  Before 
reaching  it  is  Joseph's  tomb,  the  "  parcel  of  ground  " 
referred  to  in  the  book  of  Joshua,  which  was  bought 
by  Jacob,  and  where  were  laid  "  the  bones  of  Joseph 
which  the  children  of  Israel  brought  up  out  of 
Egypt."  Jacob's  Well  is  a  cistern,  about  eight  feet 
in  diameter  and  very  deep,  its  opening  being  in  the 
crypt  of  a  Crusaders'  chapel,  built  on  the  ruins  of 
an  earlier  church.  This  is  the  well  where  Jesus  met 


392  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  woman  of  Samaria,  who  came  from  Sychar. 
Farther  south  is  Awertah,  with  the  tombs  of  Eleazar 
and  Phineas,  and  still  farther,  the  ruins  of  Seilun, 
the  Shiloh  of  Scripture,  where  the  temple  of  Je- 
hovah stood,  with  the  A'rk  of  the  Covenant;  the 
daughters  of  Shiloh,  as  recorded  in  the  book  of 
Joshua,  giving  dances  at  the  annual  festival;  and 
here  lived  the  venerable  Eli  and  the  youthful  Sam- 
uel. There  are  remains  of  various  ancient  struc- 
tures, with  a  terrace  on  the  hillside,  where  it  is  said 
the  tabernacle  stood.  The  route  to  the  southward 
crosses  the  favored  territory  of  Ephraim,  and,  at  its 
frontier,  comes  to  Beitan,  which  was  Beth-el,  the 
"  House  of  God,"  a  town  allotted  to  the  tribe  of 
Benjamin.  It  was  at  Beth-el  Jacob  had  his  dream 
of  the  ladder  reaching  to  Heaven,  with  the  angels 
ascending  and  descending.  To  the  westward  is 
Tibneh,  where,  among  some  rock-tombs,  the  grave 
of  Joshua  is  shown.  Going  farther  south,  the  route 
crosses  the  land  of  Benjamin,  passing  El  Bireh,  or 
the  "  cistern,"  so  called  from  its  abundant  water 
supply,  and  the  village  of  Eamah,  mentioned  in 
the  book  of  Kings,  finally  entering  Jerusalem  by 
the  Damascus  Gate. 

JEKICHO    AND    THE    DEAD    SEA. 

The  winding  and  erratic  Jordan  flows  down 
through  the  Ghor,  below  Lake  Tiberias,  and  the  high 
hills,  on  its  western  verge,  culminate  in  the  lofty  sum- 


JERICHO  AND  THE  DEAD  SEA       393 

mit  of  the  Karn  Sartabah,  rising  2,227  feet  above  the 
river,  being  the  conspicuous  landmark  of  the  valley. 
The  Talmud  records  that  this  peak  belonged  to  a 
chain  of  mountains,  whereon  the  advent  of  the  new 
moon  was  proclaimed  by  a  series  of  beacon  fires. 
There  are  ruins  of  a  spacious  castle  on  the  top,  a 
stronghold  of  Herod.  The  land  westward  of  the  Jor- 
dan, and  south  of  Samaria,  is  Judea,  the  name 
derived  from  the  kingdom  of  Judah,  and  within 
it  were  enacted  the  principal  events  of  the  life  and 
death  of  Jesus.  It  is  the  Mecca  of  pilgrims,  and 
the  sacred  home  of  the  foundation  of  the  Chris- 
tian Church.  Thus  writes  the  good  Quaker  poet 
Whittier: 

Blest  land  of  Judea!     Thrice  hallowed  in  song! 
Where  the  holiest  of  memories,  pilgrimlike,  throng: 
In  the  shade  of  thy  palms,  by  the  shores  of  thy  sea, 
On  the  hills  of  thy  beauty,  my  heart  is  with  thee. 

The  caravan  route,  down  the  western  side  of  the 
Ghor,  from  Beisan,  leads  to  Jericho,  and  then  con- 
tinues, by  climbing  out  of  the  valley,  to  Jerusalem. 
Coming  down  from  the  Holy  City,  this  latter  route 
reaches  Bethany,  a  few  miles  away,  a  wretched 
village  of  hovels  now,  but  famous  as  the  home  of  Laz- 
arus, Mary  and  Martha,  where  Jesus  restored  Laz- 
arus to  life.  The  present  Arabian  name  of  the  vil- 
lage is  El  Azariyeh,  meaning  "  Lazarus."  They 
have  here  a  ruined  tower,  which  is  pointed  out  as 
the  house  of  Simon  the  Leper,  in  which  Jesus  was 


394  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

anointed  by  the  woman,  with  precious  ointment,  and 
near  by  is  a  cave  tomb,  where  Lazarus  is  said  to  have 
been  buried,  and  was  raised  from  the  dead.  A  few 
feet  away  is  the  supposed  site  of  his  house,  but  this 
is  rivalled  by  another  site  —  one  location  being  held 
by  the  Greek  Church  and  the  other  by  the  Roman 
Catholics.  The  Moslems  control  the  tomb,  and  have 
a  small  mosque  alongside,  for  Islam  regards  Lazarus 
as  a  saint.  Numerous  churches  and  monasteries 
were  built  at  Bethany,  in  the  early  Christian  era,  but 
the  Moslems,  when  they  got  possession,  destroyed 
most  of  these  structures.  Near  the  village,  on  the 
road  to  Jericho,  is  a  Greek  chapel,  enclosing  the 
"  Stone  of  Rest,"  a  small  boulder,  marking  the  spot 
where  Martha  met  Jesus,  when  she  went  out  to  meet 
him  on  his  way  to  help  her  brother.  The  road  be- 
yond descends  through  a  ravine,  past  the  Apostles' 
Spring,  and  reaches  the  Kahn  Hadrur,  where  is  lo- 
cated the  scene  of  the  Parable  of  the  Good  Samaritan. 
The  "  Hill  of  Blood,"  named  from  its  red  rocks  and 
surmounted  by  a  castle  of  the  Crusaders,  overlooks  the 
Kahn.  A  little  way  farther,  upon  coming  out  of 
the  ravine,  the  visitor's  view  develops  into  a  fine  land- 
scape of  the  Jordan  valley  and  the  Dead  Sea,  its  deep 
blue  waters  stretching  far  away  to  the  southward. 
Passing  the  ruins  of  ancient  Jericho,  the  route  soon 
enters  Eriha,  the  modern  village,  high  above  the  Jor- 
dan, yet  820  feet  below  the  level  of  the  Mediter- 
ranean. It  has  barely  three  hundred  residents,  and 


Bethany. 


395 

the  greater  part  of  these  are  a  woefully  degenerate 
race  and  derive  their  means  of  sustenance  from  the 
tourists  passing  through  that  place. 

The  hill  of  Karantel  rises  near  the  village,  and 
here,  in  a  grotto,  now  used  as  a  chapel,  Jesus  is  said 
to  have  spent  the  forty  days  of  his  fast.  There  are 
various  hermits'  caverns  in  the  hill,  and  also  a  monas- 
tery. From  this  hill  flows  the  copious  stream  of  the 
"  Sultan's  Spring,"  which  is  said  to  have  been  the 
fountain  where  Elisha,  according  to  the  book  of 
Kings,  healed  the  waters  with  salt,  whereupon  the 
early  Christians  called  it  "  Elisha's  Spring."  There 
are  sugar  mills  along  its  outflow  stream,  for  in  early 
times  the  sugar  cane  was  extensively  cultivated. 
Here  was  located  the  ancient  Jericho,  belonging  to  the 
tribe  of  Benjamin,  enclosed  by  walls,  and  captured 
by  Joshua,  after  the  Israelites  crossed  the  Jordan, 
their  mighty  shout,  after  the  encircling  marches, 
throwing  down  the  walls.  Afterward  Jericho  was 
moved  farther  southward,  where  it  was  located  in  the 
Roman  days,  while  the  modern  village  is  to  the  east- 
ward. Herod  greatly  embellished  the  Roman  town, 
and  here  he  died,  while  from  it  Jesus  began  his  last 
journey  to  Jerusalem.  The  modern  village  was  be- 
gun by  the  Crusaders,  but  it  decayed  under  the  later 
Turkish  rule.  The  only  relic  they  have  is  a  tower  of 
the  Crusaders'  period,  which  is  said  to  occupy  the 
site  of  the  House  of  Zaccheus,  and  as  late  as  the 
fourth  century,  the  sycamore  tree  into  which  he 


396  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

climbed  to  see  Christ  was  described  as  still  stand- 
ing. Excavations  made  in  1907.  have  disclosed  the 
ancient  city  wall,  built  of  brick  on  a  stone  founda- 
tion, and  about  ten  feet  thick,  increasing  on  the  west- 
ern side  to  forty  feet  thickness.  There  have  also 
been  uncovered  remains  of  rows  of  ancient  Hebrew 
houses,  having  inscriptions  in  the  old  Hebrew  char- 
acters. 

It  is  not  far  away  to  the  Jordan,  at  the  ford  and 
bathing  place,  where  the  Israelites  crossed  the  river. 
On  the  route  is  Gilgal,  where  were  placed  the  twelve 
stones  which  Joshua  ordered  taken  out  of  the  river 
bed.  In  the  Crusaders'  time  a  small  church  here 
enclosed  these  stones.  Near  by  is  the  grotto  where 
John  the  Baptist  dwelt,  now  the  Greek  Monastery 
of  St.  John,  its  first  predecessor  having  been  erected 
by  the  Empress  Helena.  At  the  ford  and  bathing 
place  is  supposed  to  have  been  the  scene  of  the  bap- 
tism of  Jesus.  Here  are  also  the  location  of  the 
miraculous  division  of  the  waters  by  the  mantle  of 
Elijah,  when  he  and  Elisha  passed  over;  and  here 
Arprobus,  afterward  St.  Christopher,  carried  the 
youthful  Jesus  across.  Mrs.  Mulock  Craik  thus  tells 
the  sacred  story : 

"  Carry  me  across !  " 

The  Syrian  heard,  rose  up,  and  braced 
His  huge  limbs  to  the  accustomed  toil: 
"  My  child,  see  how  the  waters  boil ! 

The  night-black  heavens   look  angry-faced; 
But  life  is  little  loss. 


JERICHO  AND  THE  DEAD  SEA  397 

"  I'll  carry  thee  with  joy, 
If  needs  be,  safe  as  nestling  dove, 

For  o'er  this  stream  I  pilgrims  bring 

In  service  to  one  Christ,  a  King, 
Whom  I  have  never  seen,  yet  love." 

"  I  thank  thee,"  said  the  boy. 

Cheerful,  Arprobus  took 
The  burden  on  his  shoulders  great, 

And  stepped  into  the  waves  once  more, 
When  lo!   they,  leaping,  rise  and  roar, 
And  'neath  the  little  child's  light  weight 
The  tottering  giant  shook. 

"  Who  art  thou  ?  "  cried  he,  wild, 

Struggling  in  middle  of  the  ford; 

"  Boy  as  thou  look'st,  it  seems  to  me 
The  whole  world's  load  I  bear  in  thee." 

"  Yet,  for  the  sake  of  Christ,  thy  Lord, 
Carry  me,"  said  the  child. 

No  more  Arprobus  swerved, 
But  gained  the  farther  bank,   and  then 
A  voice   cried,   "  Hence,   Christopheros   be ! 
For,  carrying,  thou  hast  carried  Me, 
The  king  of  angels  and  of  men, 
The  Master  thou  hast  served." 

And  in  the  moonlight  blue 
The  saint  saw  not  the  wandering  boy, 
But  Him  who  walked  upon  the  sea 
And  o'er  the  plains   of  Galilee, 
Till,   filled  with   mystic,   awful  joy, 
His  dear  Lord  Christ  he  knew. 

Oh,  little  is  all  loss, 

And  brief  the  space  'twixt  shore  and  shore 
If  Thou,  Lord  Jesus,  on  us  lay 
Through  the  deep  waters  of  our  way, 


398  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  burden  that  Christopheros  bore  — 
To  carry  Thee  across. 

This  ford  is  believed  to  be  the  Bethabara,  men- 
tioned in  the  book  of  John,  and  there  are  two  mon- 
asteries near  it.  Many  pilgrims  come  here  for  bath- 
ing and  baptism,  and  they  have  been  doing  so  since 
the  days  of  Constantine,  the  Greeks,  particularly,  at- 
taching great  importance  to  the  termination  of  a  pil- 
grimage by  the  bath  in  Jordan.  Much  water  is 
taken  from  the  river  to  be  carried  home  for  baptisms, 
and  a  large  traffic  is  conducted  in  shipping  casks  of 
Jordan  water  to  Europe  and  America,  under  a  Turk- 
ish concession.  After  Elijah  had  passed  over  this 
ford,  with  Elisha,  through  the  miraculous  use  of  his 
mantle,  in  making  a  crossing  in  the  river  torrent,  he 
went  but  a  little  way  beyond  the  bank,  where  he  was 
carried  up  to  Heaven  by  the  fiery  chariot  and  horses 
in  the  whirlwind.  "  Elijah's  Translation  "  has  been 
quaintly  described  by  the  Rev.  Benjamin  Colman, 
who  ministered  in  Boston  two  centuries  ago : 

'Twas  at  high  morn,  the  day  serene  and  fair, 

Mountains  of  luminous  clouds  rolled  in  the  air, 

When  on  a  sudden  from  the  radiant  skies 

Superior  light  flasht  in  Elisha's  eyes. 

The  Heavens  were  cleft,  and  from  the  Imperial  throne 

A  stream  of  glory,  dazzling  splendor,  shone; 

Beams  of  ten  thousand  suns  shot  round  about, 

The  sun  and  every  blazoned  cloud  went  out; 

Bright  hosts  of  angels  lined  the  Heavenly  way 

To  guard  the  saint  up  to  eternal  day; 

Then  down  the  steep  descent,  a  chariot  bright, 


JERICHO  AND  THE  DEAD  SEA  399 

And  steeds  of  fire  swift  as  the  beams  of  light. 
*  Winged  seraphs  ready  stood,  bowed  low  to  greet 
The  favorite  saint,  and  hand  him  to  his  seat. 
Enthroned  he  sat,  tears  formed  with  joys  his  mien, 
Calm  his  gay  soul,  and  like  his  face,  serene. 
His  eye,  and  burning  wishes  to  his  God, 
Forward  he  bowed,  and  on  to  triumph  rode. 

The  impetuous  Jordan  flows  through  the  thickets 
of  thorn  and  reeds,  and  over  the  clayey,  salt-covered 
soil,  to  the  Arab's  "  Sea  of  Lot,"  which  we  know  best 
as  the  Dead  Sea.  Here  the  river  is  lost  in  the  beauti- 
ful blue  and  placid  expanse  of  waters,  which  have  no 
outlet,  being  all  taken  off  by  evaporation.  Its  bor- 
ders support  neither  animal  nor  vegetable  life,  for 
there  is  too  much  salt.  There  grows,  however,  in  the 
plain  of  Jericho  and  some  of  the  neighboring  valleys, 
the  peculiar  plant  which  bears  the  "  Apple  of 
Sodom."  This  is  a  woody  shrub,  three  or  four  feet 
high,  bearing  a  beautiful  fruit  resembling  an  apple, 
at  first  tinged  yellow  and  afterward  red.  When  fully 
ripened  it  contains,  within  the  attractive  rind,  noth- 
ing but  dry  seeds  and  a  dusty  powder,  the  taste  be- 
ing nauseous  beyond  description.  These  are  the — • 

Dead  Sea  fruits  that  tempt  the  eye 
But  turn  to  ashes  on  the  lips. 

The  Greeks  and  Romans  named  the  Dead  Sea  the 
"  Sea  of  Asphalt,"  but  Mohammed  having  included 
the  destruction  of  Sodom  and  the  rescue  of  Lot  in 
the  Koran,  this  gave  the  Arabic  name.  The  sea  lies 
low  down,  in  the  central  depression  of  Syria,  so  that 


400  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

its  surface  is  about  1,300  feet  below  the  Mediter- 
ranean, but  the  water  level  will  vary  twenty  feet  be- 
tween the  wet  and  dry  seasons,  and  the  greatest  depth 
is  1,310  feet,  thus  bringing  the  bottom  2,600  feet  be- 
low the  Mediterranean.  The  length  is  forty-seven 
miles,  and  the  greatest  breadth  about  ten  miles.  The 
geologists  tell  us  that  this  Jordan  valley  depression 
comes  from  the  end  of  the  tertiary  period,  and  that  it 
was  the  reservoir  for  the  tremendous  rainfall  of  the 
first  ice-age,  when  the  Dead  Sea  level  was  about  1,400 
feet  higher  than  now,  or  a  hundred  feet  above  the 
Mediterranean,  and  the  sea  then  extended  as  far 
northward  as  the  Lake  of  Tiberias.  Precipitous 
mountains  flank  it  on  both  sides,  with  very  little 
space  between  their  bases'  and  the  water.  The  pro- 
digious evaporation  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  the 
average  daily  amount  of  water  coming  in  from  the 
Jordan  is  about  six  and  one-half  millions  of  tons. 
This  causes  the  great  impregnation  of  salt,  and 
there  are  huge  deposits  of  rock-salt  around  the  sea, 
particularly  at  the  southwestern  end.  There  is 
about  26  per  cent  of  solid  substances  in  the  water,  7 
per  cent  being  chloride  of  sodium,  a  large  amount  of 
chloride  of  magnesium,  giving  a  nauseous  bitter  taste, 
and  also  chloride  of  calcium,  making  it  smooth  and 
oily  to  the  touch.  The  bather  will  not  sink,  but 
floats,  without  exertion,  on  the  surface,  and  upon 
emerging,  his  body  is  coated  with  salt.  The  scenery 
is  wild  and  desolate,  the  mountains  of  Moab,  above 


Place  of  the  Saviour's  Baptism,  River  Jordan. 


JERICHO  AND  THE  DEAD  SEA        401 

the  eastern  bank,  presenting  a  fine  serrated  ridge 
against  the  sky,  with  varying  tints  as  the  sunlight 
may  strike  it.  The  Dead  Sea  has  scarcely  any  boats 
upon  its  surface.  It,  with  the  Jordan  valley  and  the 
river,  is  the  personal  property  of  the  Turkish  sultan, 
so  that  it  is  leased  out  as  a  monopoly,  and  the  ex- 
cessive salt  quickly  destroys  the  boats  of  the  native 
company  which  controls  the  navigation. 

The  land  to  the  eastward,  beyond  the  Dead  Sea 
and  the  Jordan,  and  to  the  northward  of  Moab,  is 
Gilead,  the  pastoral  region  inhabited  by  the 
Israelites,  and  having  on  its  eastern  border  the 
region  of  the  Ammonites,  with  whom  they  waged 
almost  perpetual  war.  Jephthah  and  Saul  fought 
the  Ammonites,  and  David  conquered  them.  From 
the  Jordan  valley,  the  surface  of  the  land  ascends 
steeply,  and  here  is  the  town  of  Es-Salt,  supposed  to 
be  the  Eamath  Gilead  of  the  book  of  Kings  and  the 
Mizpah  of  the  Judges.  It  now  has  about  fifteen 
thousand  population,  mostly  Moslems,  there  being 
also  Christian  missions.  Not  far  away,  is  the  highest 
summit  of  the  mountains  of  Gilead,  the  superb  Jebel 
Osha,  rising  about  3,600  feet,  the  tomb  of  Osha,  the 
Moslem  name  of  the  prophet  Hosea,  being  upon  the 
summit,  which  gives  a  magnificent  view  over  a  large 
part  of  Palestine.  To  the  northeast  is  Jerash,  the 
Roman  Gerasa,  one  of  their  Arabian  strongholds, 
that  declined,  however,  under  the  subsequent  Mos- 
lem rule,  and  is  now  a  ruin,  having  as  its  principal 
VOL.  11—26 


402  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

feature,  the  Great  Temple  of  the  Sun.  Some  dis- 
tance southward,  and  east  of  Es-Salt,  is  Ammon, 
now  a  station  on  the  Hedjaz  railway  from  Damascus 
to  Mecca,  and  chiefly  a  colony  of  Circassians.  This 
was  Rabbath  Ammon,  the  capital  of  the  Ammonites, 
captured  by  Joab  as  described  in  Samuel.  Its  cita- 
del and  remains  date  from  the  Roman  times.  The 
whole  adjacent  region  is  covered  with  ruins,  and  to 
the  westward  is  the  castle  of  Ank-el-Emir,  the  an- 
cient white  Tyros  castle,  described  by  Josephus. 
Farther  south  we  get  into  the  land  of  Moab,  coming 
to  the  ruins  of  Heshbon,  which  was  originally  the 
capital  of  the  Amorites,  and  to  Madeba,  near  by,  both 
these  places  having  been  allotted  to  the  tribe  of 
Reuben,  but  they  came  into  Moabite  possession  in 
the  ninth  century  B.  C.  There  are  Greek,  Roman 
and  also  Christian  remains.  Overlooking  Madeba, 
from  the  north,  is  Mount  Nebo,  rising  2,643  feet,  its 
summit  giving  an  admirable  view  across  the  Dead 
Sea  and  the  Jordan,  to  Galilee  and  Mounts  Hermon 
and  Carmel.  On  this  mountain  top  are  a  stone 
circle  and  other  ruins,  and  it  was  from  here  that 
Moses,  as  recorded  in  Deuteronomy,  obtained  his 
view  of  the  Promised  Land  before  he  died. 

It  was  at  Dibon,  to  the  southward  of  Mount  Nebo, 
the  ancient  Dibon  of  the  tribe  of  Gad,  which  the 
Moabites  took,  that  was  found  in  1868  the  famous 
Moabite  Stone  of  King  Mesha,  now  in  the  Louvre. 
At  Main,  not  far  away,  was  the  birthplace  of  Elisha, 


JERICHO  AND  THE  DEAD  SEA  403 

and  the  whole  region  is  covered  with  remains  of 
Moabite  towns,  the  ancestor  of  the  race,  Moab,  hav- 
ing been  the  son  of  Lot.  This  warlike  people  com- 
pelled the  Israelites  to  pay  them  tribute,  and  conse- 
quently Saul  and  David  fought  them  (the  latter's 
great-grandmother  being  the  gentle  Ruth,  a  Moabite 
woman)  and  in  turn  David  compelled  Moab  to  pay 
Israel  tribute.  This  payment  was  refused  when 
Ahab  died,  Mesha  then  being  their  king,  and  pro- 
tracted wars  ensued,  Israel  being  successfully  re- 
sisted and  victorious  Moab  continuing  as  an  inde- 
pendent nation,  though  disappearing  before  the 
Christian  era.  El-Karak  was  the  ancient  Kir  of 
Moab,  and  is  now  a  ruin,  covered  with  poor  huts, 
which  are  so  numerous  that  they  house  over  thirty 
thousand  people.  The  Moabite  Stone,  which  was  in- 
scribed in  the  ninth  century  B.  C.,  is  the  earliest 
inscription  in  the  Hebrew-Phoenician  writing  known 
to  us.  It  was  a  piece  of  black  basalt,  about  three 
feet  eight  inches  high,  over  two  feet  wide  and  four- 
teen inches  thick.  The  inscription  covers  thirty-four 
lines  of  very  good  writing.  When  the  stone  was 
found,  there  was  a  quarrel  among  the  Arabs  about 
its  sale,  and  it  was  broken  in  pieces,  of  which  the 
three  largest,  embracing  most  of  the  stone,  were  se- 
cured for  the  Louvre,  as  well  as  a  plain  copy  of  the 
inscription  taken  before  it  was  broken.  In  this  in- 
scription, Mesha,  the  Moabite  king,  relates  that 
after  the  death  of  Ahab  his  god  Chemosh  enabled 


404  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

him  to  shake  off  the  yoke  of  Israel,  and  fortify 
various  towns  against  the  Israelites.  From  all  these 
places  in  Moab,  the  land  falls  off  sharply  to  the  deep 
valley  of  the  Dead  Sea,  and  then,  on  the  western 
shore  of  the  sea,  it  rises  as  steeply  to  the  high  hills 
of  Judea,  whereon  is  the  Holy  City  of  Jerusalem, 
elevated  nearly  3,900  feet  above  that  great  depres- 
sion, and  about  2,550  feet  above  the  surface  of  the 
Mediterranean. 


THE    APPKOACH    TO    JERUSALEM. 

The  visitor  to  Jerusalem,  from  whatever  direction 
he  may  come,  whether  from  Jericho,  the  Dead  Sea, 
the  Jordan,  Arabia,  or  the  westward,  toils  up  an 
ascent.  Usually  he  goes  from  Jaffa,  on  the  Med- 
iterranean coast,  whence  there  is  a  railway  of  fifty- 
four  miles,  and  a  caravan  route,  usually  keeping  it 
close  company.  An  electric  road  is  also  projected. 
These  roads  cross  the  famous  plain  of  Sharon,  and 
pass  Lydda,  the  tomb  of  St.  George,  where,  accord- 
ing to  the  Moslem  tradition,  Mohammed  declared 
that  at  the  last  day  Christ  would  appear  at  the 
city  gate  and  slay  the  Antichrist.  A  church  now 
stands  over  St.  George's  tomb,  parts  of  it  having 
been  built  by  the  Crusaders.  Beyond  is  Ramleh,  its 
chief  attraction  being  the  "  Tower,"  a  mosque  built 
by  the  founder,  the  Khalif  Suleiman,  in  the  eighth 
century,  though  the  actual  tower  is  said  to  have  been 
the  work  of  the  Crusaders.  It  is  here  that  the 


THE  APPROACH  TO  JERUSALEM      405 

"  forty  martyrs  "  repose  in  the  vaults,  both  the  Mo- 
hammedan and  the  Christian  traditions  claiming 
them.  This  lofty  tower  stands  out  boldly  against  the 
pale  blue  sky,  an  attractive  landmark,  whoever  may 
have  built  it  or  may  have  been  its  special  martyrs. 
From  the  top,  there  is  a  view  far  across,  from  the 
sea  to  the  mountains,  which  in  the  distant  south- 
east encompass  Jerusalem.  A  little  way  farther  on 
is  the  village  of  Aker,  which  was  the  Philistine 
Ekron,  named  in  the  book  of  Kings  as  one  of  the 
five  chief  cities  of  that  nation,  and  near  by  are  the 
ruins  of  Gezer.  This  was  a  Canaanite  town,  pre- 
sented to  Solomon,  and  its  history  goes  back  to  the 
most  remote  antiquity.  The  excavations  of  the  Pal- 
estine Exploration  Fund,  going  on  for  several  years 
prior  to  1906,  have  disclosed  here  eight  cities,  built 
one  upon  the  other,  the  lowest  showing  that  the  in- 
habitants then  lived  in  caves,  and  made  their  imple- 
ments of  flints,  thus  indicating  the  mode  of  life  as 
early  as  3,500  B.  C.  The  architecture,  pottery, 
weapons,  rings,  seals  and  jewels  found  here  also 
developed  an  Egyptian  residence  as  early  as  the 
twenty-fifth  century  B.  C.,  while  bronze  and  iron 
appear  later,  and  the  Canaanite  and  Jewish  cities 
are  shown  as  superposed  above  the  others,  in  this 
most  ancient  place. 

Latrun,  a  small  village,  gets  its  name  from  the 
Latin  latroy  a  robber,  and  is  said  to  have  been  the 
home  of  the  penitent  thief  crucified  with  Jesus; 


406  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  close  by  is  Amwas,  which  was  the  Emmaus  of 
the  Old  Testament,  that  the  Romans  afterward 
called  Nicopolis,  the  "  City  of  Victory."  Here  the 
Saviour  appeared,  on  the  evening  of  the  Resurrec- 
tion, to  two  disciples  in  the  breaking  of  bread,  as 
recorded  in  Luke.  The  Vale  of  Sorek,  through 
which  the  railway  is  constructed,  gives  it  a  route  up 
into  the  mountains,  and  here  was  the  home  of  De- 
lilah, the  Philistine,  with  whom  Samson  of  the  tribe 
of  Dan,  who  was  twenty  years  a  judge  in  Israel, 
fell  in  love.  She  wrought  his  undoing,  and  high 
on  the  mountain  side,  to  the  eastward  of  the  rail- 
way, is  shown  the  cave,  which  is  called  Samson's 
cavern,  where,  according  to  the  legend,  the  strong 
man's  locks  were  shorn  by  the  perfidious  Delilah, 
when  she  betrayed  him  to  the  Philistines,  who  put 
out  his  eyes  and  carried  him  off  in  captivity.  The 
village  of  Abu  Ghosh,  was  the  Karyet  el  Enab,  or 
"  town  of  grapes  "  of  medieval  times,  and  is  said  to 
have  been  the  Kirjath-Jearim,  or  "  forest  town  "  of 
Samuel,  to  which  was  taken  the  Ark  of  the  Covenant, 
from  out  of  the  possession  of  the  Philistines,  into 
the  house  of  Abinidab,  where  it  rested  for  twenty 
years.  This  place  is  adorned  with  a  beautiful 
church,  recently  restored,  that  was  dedicated  to  St. 
Jeremiah  in  the  fifteenth  century.  Gradually  the 
traveller  approaches  the  Holy  City,  and  in  front  ap- 
pear the  bright  "  Dome  of  the  Rock  "  (the  Mosque 
of  Omar),  and  the  distant  tower  on  the  Mount  of 


THE  APPROACH  TO  JERUSALEM       407 

Olives.  The  city  is  hidden  behind  its  yellow  walls, 
but  the  five-domed  Church  of  the  Russians,  with  their 
imposing  cluster  of  buildings,  to  the  northward,  out- 
side the  walls,  and  many  other  church  towers  and 
domes  appear,  the  Holy  City  being  entered  through 
the  ancient  Jaffa  Gate,  which  the  Arabs  call  the 
Bab  el  Chalil,  or  "  Gate  of  Hebron."  Here  go  in 
the  largest  concourse  of  pilgrims  and  travellers,  as 
the  Jaffa  road  is  the  most  frequented  route  to  Jeru- 
salem. 

The  approach  to  Jerusalem  from  the  west, 
however,  is  by  no  means  as  impressive  as  that  from 
Jericho  and  the  east.  Coming  from  that  direction, 
the  visitor  at  once  opens  up  the  grand  view  of  the 
two  great  ravines,  cutting  the  city  off  from  the  sur- 
rounding tableland,  and  sees,  in  its  completest 
splendor,  the  magnificent  "  Dome  of  the  Rock,"  and 
its  beautiful  environment.  It  was  from  this  side 
that  Jesus  first  saw  Jerusalem,  and  when  he  beheld 
it  upon  the  site  where  the  Mosque  of  Omar  now 
stands  was  the  beautiful  Temple  of  Herod,  with 
thousands  of  Israelites  attending  the  Feast  of  the 
Passover.  Over  beyond  was  the  wooded  hillside  of 
the  Mount  of  Olives,  and  between  them,  the  deep 
Valley  of  Jehoshaphat,  with  the  brook  Kidron 
flowing  through  it.  Jesus  crossed  this  vale,  ascended 
the  slope  of  Mount  Moriah,  entered  Jerusalem  by 
what  afterward  was  named  the  "  Gate  of  the  Virgin," 
the  Bab  SiUi  Mariam,  and  soon  was  walking  in  the 


408  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

narrow  winding  "  Street  of  Woe,"  the  Via  Dolorosa, 
the  first,  as  it  was  the  last,  street  of  the  Holy  City 
that  he  trod. 

THE    HOLY    CITY. 

Jerusalem  is  neither  a  large  nor  a  populous  city. 
The  walls  enclosing  the  older  town  extend  about  two 
and  one  half  miles  around  an  oblong  quadrangle,  and 
the  city  and  suburbs,  embracing  over  a  thousand 
acres,  may  have  a  hundred  thousand  inhabitants. 
These  are  mostly  Jews,  as  here  and  elsewhere  in 
Palestine  the  Zionist  movement  has  brought  re- 
cently an  influx  of  Jewish  settlers,  who  occupy 
the  lands  in  fertile  sections  and  are  largely  settling 
the  towns.  From  the  Palestine  mountains,  rising  to 
the  northward,  there  extends  southward  a  broad 
ridge  of  limestone,  surrounded  on  three  sides  by  pre- 
cipitous valleys,  and  Jerusalem  is  built  on  the  south- 
ern extremity  of  this  ridge.  Along  the  eastern 
side,  and  between  it  and  the  Mount  of  Olives,  is  the 
depression  of  the  brook  Kidron,  known  «as  the 
Valley  of  Jehoshaphat,  and  along  the  western  side, 
is  another  valley,  sometimes  called  Gihon,  not  so 
deep,  which  turns  sharply  eastward,  around  the 
southern  extremity  of  the  ridge,  and  then  deepens, 
as  it  goes  on  to  join  the  former  valley.  This  is  the 
Valley  of  Hinnom,  the  Hebrew  Gehinnom,  and  the 
Greek  Gehenna,  and  the  three  valleys  thus  enclose 
the  Holy  City,  around  three-fourths  of  its  circum- 


THE  HOLY  CITY  409 

ference,  finally  going  off  as  a  deep  ravine  to  the  Dead 
Sea.  The  southern  promontory  of  the  city  is  the 
"  Hill  of  Evil  Counsel,"  where  the  priests  took  coun- 
sel against  Jesus  to  destroy  him;  and  the  deep  gorge 
at  its  base  divides  it  from  the  "  Mount  of  Offence," 
where  Solomon  practiced  idolatries.  Northward 
from  this  deep  gorge  extends  a  ravine,  within  the 
city,  known  as  the  "  Tyropceon  Vale,"  or  the  "  Val- 
ley of  the  Cheesemongers,"  thus  named  by  Josephus. 
On  its  western  side  was  Mount  Zion,  the  dwelling 
place  of  Jehovah,  as  described  by  the  prophets  Joel 
and  Micah,  and  here  was  the  ancient  city,  the 
"  Daughter  of  Zion,"  so  called  in  Isaiah.  The  City 
and  Castle  of  David  were  on  the  southern  part  of  the 
eastern  hill,  having  on  the  higher  ground,  to  the 
northward,  the  Palace  and  Temple  of  Solomon,  its 
religious  designation  being  Mount  Moriah.  On  the 
site  of  the  Temple  is  now  the  Mosque  of  Omar,  the 
present  "  Dome  of  the  Rock."  The  wall  of  the  city 
is  an  irregular  quadrangle,  with  eight  gates,  one  of 
them,  the  Golden  Gate,  having  long  been  closed. 
There  are  two  chief  streets,  leading  from  opposite 
gates,  and  crossing  at  right  angles,  in  the  middle  of 
the  city,  dividing  it  into  four  quarters,  the  Moslems' 
quarter  being  the  northeast,  the  Jews  southeast,  the 
Armenians  southwest,  and  the  Christians  northwest. 
The  streets  are  badly  paved  and  dirty,  and  outside  of 
the  great  religious  landmarks,  there  is  little  that  is 
attractive.  Quite  a  large  modern  suburb,  with  better 


410  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

buildings  and  streets,  extends  to  the  northwest  of  the 
old  city. 

Urusalem,  the  "  City  of  Salim "  meaning  the 
"  City  of  Peace,"  is  referred  to  in  Egyptian  records, 
many  centuries  before  Christ,  and  it  was  a  Jebusite 
stronghold,  when  David  captured  it  for  his  residence, 
and  made  it  the  City  of  David,  a  thousand  years 
before  the  Crucifixion.  Solomon  built  his  Temple 
and  also  a  palace  and  fort,  and  afterward  the  city 
became  the  capital  of  the  kingdom  of  Judah,  and 
had  various  vicissitudes,  Nebuchadnezzar  ultimately 
carrying  the  people  away  captives,  the  Temple  and 
most  of  the  city  being  destroyed.  The  second  Tem- 
ple was  built  in  the  sixth  century  B.  C.,  and  after- 
ward Jerusalem  was  successively  held  by  Alex- 
ander, the  Ptolemies,  Antiochus,  the  Maccabees,  and 
ultimately  by  the  Romans.  Under  the  latter  Herod 
again  rebuilt  the  Temple  and  the  city,  its  walls 
having  seventy-five  towers,  and  at  the  time  of  Christ 
it  was  both  prosperous  and  populous.  Agrippa 
completed  the  north  wall,  with  ninety  towers,  the 
most  imposing  being  Psephinus,  at  the  northwest 
angle,  rising  100  feet,  and  standing  on  the  highest 
ground  of  the  city,  elevated  nearly  2,600  feet.  More 
trouble  came,  however;  Vespasian  despatched  an 
army  to  conquer  Palestine,  and  under  his  son  Titus, 
A.  D.  70,  Jerusalem  was  captured  and  destroyed,  the 
Temple  burnt,  and  most  of  the  people  slain.  Ha- 
drian, in  the  second  century,  made  a  sort  of  revival, 


THE  HOLY  CITY  411 

but  afterward  the  city  was  in  obscurity  for  cen- 
turies, under  Persian  and  other  rulers,  being  cap- 
tured by  the  Arabs  in  the  seventh  century.  Then 
came  the  Crusades,  and  the  Christians  got  possession 
in  1099,  but  in  1187  Saladin  was  the  conqueror, 
and  since  then  it  has  been  a  Moslem  city,  the  Turks 
being  the  rulers  from  1517.  They  call  it  El  Kuds, 
or  "the  Holy,"  and  next  to  Mecca  it  is  their  most 
sacred  city.  The  tradition  is,  that  in  the  second 
century,  a  Christian  bishop,  Marcus,  was  conse- 
crated, and  from  that  time  Jerusalem  became  a 
place  of  pilgrimage.  The  Empress  Helena  came  on 
her  pilgrimage,  in  335,  and  found  the  holy  places, 
which  were  marked  by  chapels,  and  under  her  son 
Constantine,  Christianity  dominated  the  Roman 
Empire,  he  making  the  cross  the  standard  for  the 
Roman  legions.  Thus  Jerusalem  became  the  lead- 
ing shrine  in  the  world,  and  its  Arab  and  Turkish 
control,  with  the  maltreatment  of  pilgrims,  have 
been  the  causes  of  some  of  the  greatest  wars,  among 
the  most  prominent  being  the  Crusades. 

The  conspicuous  edifice,  in  the  Holy  City,  is  the 
Mosque  of  Omar,  the  renowned  "  Dome  of  the 
Rock,"  seen  from  afar  on  all  approaches.  This 
building  stands  upon  Mount  Moriah,  on  the  eastern 
side,  in  the  walled  enclosure  of  about  forty  acres, 
called  the  Haram  esh  Sherif,  or  the  "  Noble  Sanc- 
tuary." The  "  Dome  "  is  a  magnificent  octagonal 
structure,  covered  with  variegated  marbles,  and  sur- 


412  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

mounted  by  porcelain  tiles,  of  blue  and  white,  edged 
with  blue  and  green.  Each  side  is  about  sixty-six 
feet  wide,  and  it  stands  upon  an  elevated  platform, 
in  the  highest  part  of  the  enclosure,  rising  a  hundred 
and  fifteen  feet,  being  surmounted  by  a  crescent. 
This  Dome  covers  Es  Sakhra,  the  "  Holy  Rock,"  a 
granitic  mass,  fifty-eight  by  forty-four  feet,  elevated 
four  to  six  feet  above  the  pavement,  which  was  the 
most  sacred  place  in  ancient  Jerusalem.  There  is  a 
hollow  under  the  rock,  into  which  steps  descend,  and 
according  to  the  Talmud  it  covers  the  mouth  of  an 
abyss,  in  which  the  waters  of  the  flood  were  heard 
roaring.  Here  Abraham,  the  tradition  says,  was 
about  to  sacrifice  Isaac,  and  Jacob  made  it  his  pillow 
and  anointed  the  rock,  which  was  then  regarded  as 
the  centre  of  the  world.  It  became  the  threshing- 
floor  of  Araunah,  the  Jebusite,  which  David  bought 
and  made  an  altar,  and  this  caused  Solomon  to  select 
it  as  the  site  for  the  Temple.  It  was  called  the 
"  Stone  of  the  Foundation  " —  the  spot  on  which  the 
Ark  of  the  Covenant  rested.  When  Jerusalem  was 
destroyed,  Jeremiah  is  said  to  have  concealed  the 
Ark  beneath  it.  Jesus,  according  to  the  tradition, 
found  the  great  and  unspeakable  name  of  God 
(Elohim)  written  here,  and  then  began  his  miracles. 
The  Moslems  tell  us  that  the  rock  is  held  over  the 
abyss  without  support,  and  in  the  hollow  beneath 
there  are  seats  shown  where  Abraham,  David,  Sol- 
omon and  Elijah  were  in  the  habit  of  praying;  that 


Mosque  of  Omar,  Jerusalem. 


THE  HOLY  CITY  413 

farther  underneath  is  the  "  Well  of  Souls,"  where 
they  assemble  twice  weekly  for  prayers;  and  that 
below  is  a  river  of  Paradise  and  also  a  gate  to  hell. 
One  prayer  here,  said  Mohammed,  was  better  than  a 
thousand  elsewhere,  and  he  made  his  final  prayer 
here  alongside  the  rock,  and  then  ascended  to 
Heaven,  on  his  miraculous  steed  El  Burek.  His 
head  bumped  the  ceiling,  and  the  impression  is 
shown,  while  the  rock  endeavored  to  follow  him  in  the 
flight  upward,  but  an  angel  restrained  it,  and  on  the 
rock  is  still  the  mark  of  the  angel's  hand.  The  sa- 
cred rock,  on  this  occasion,  spoke,  and  its  "  tongue  " 
is  over  the  entrance  to  the  hollow;  it  also  afterward 
greeted  Omar.  When  the  last  day  comes,  here  will 
resound  the  blast  of  the  trumpet,  announcing  the 
judgment;  God's  throne  will  then  be  planted  on  the 
rock,  and  the  Sacred  Kaba  of  Mecca  will  arise  and 
come  to  it  at  Jerusalem.  The  banners  of  Mo- 
hammed and  Omar  are  preserved  in  the  Dome,  and 
also  hairs  from  the  prophet's  beard,  while  his  foot- 
print is  shown  in  a  corner,  this  in  medieval  times 
having  been  also  called  the  footprint  of  Christ.  At 
the  northern  entrance  there  is  a  slab  of  jasper  in  the 
ground,  which  was  the  cover  of  Solomon's  tomb,  and 
into  it  Mohammed  drove  nineteen  nails  of  gold. 
One  of  these  falls  out  at  the  end  of  every  epoch,  and 
when  all  are  gone,  the  end  of  the  world  will  come. 
The  devil  is  said  to  have  been  here  one  day,  and  de- 
stroyed all  but  three  and  one-half  of  the  nails,  when 


414  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  angel  Gabriel  fortunately  happened  by  and  drove 
him  off. 

Such  is  the  sacred  rock,  which  was  the  "  Holy  of 
Holies "  of  King  Solomon's  Temple,  the  enclosure 
of  the  Haram  being  the  most  interesting  part  of 
Jerusalem.  The  building  of  the  Temple  was  con- 
tinued by  Solomon's  successors.  After  its  destruc- 
tion, in  the  sixth  century  B.  C.,  Zerubbabel  con- 
ducted the  exiled  Jews  back  to  Jerusalem,  and  built 
the  second  Temple  on  the  site,  which  was  completed 
516  B.  C.,  but  was  much  inferior  in  size  and  splen- 
dor. This  structure  was  repeatedly  plundered  and 
ultimately  destroyed,  and  Herod,  in  the  year  20  B.  C., 
began  building  the  third  Temple  in  elaborate  mag- 
nificence, but  it  was  never  fully  completed,  and  was 
burnt  A.  D.  TO.  Then  Hadrian  erected  here  a  tem- 
ple to  Jupiter,  which  the  earliest  Christian  pilgrims 
found  still  standing.  It  fell  into  decay,  and  when 
Omar  came  in  636,  the  place  was  practically  a  heap 
of  rubbish.  The  "  Dome  of  the  Rock "  was  built 
in.  the  seventh,  and  restored  in  the  ninth  century, 
the  Crusaders,  when  they  arrived,  taking  it  for  Sol- 
omon's Temple,  so  that  they  built  churches  in  various 
parts  of  Europe  on  its  model.  It  is  approached  by 
broad  flights  of  steps,  and  has  elegant  arcades  on 
each  front,  with  gates  facing  the  four  cardinal 
points  of  the  compass,  the  northern  portal  being 
called  the  "  Gate  of  Paradise."  The  interior,  about 
175  feet  in  diameter,  is  divided  into  three  concen- 


THE  HOLY  CITY  415 

i 

trie  circles,  by  rows  of  columns,  and  in  the  decora- 
tions are  inscribed  various  verses  of  the  Koran, 
which  have  reference  to  Jesus.  The  Dome  rises  high 
above,  and  has  been  repeatedly  restored,  the  latest 
revival  being  in  1830.  An  ornamental  wooden 
screen  surrounds  the  Holy  Rock.  Outside  the 
eastern  gate  is  a  beautiful  little  structure,  the 
"  Dome  of  the  Chain,"  which  surmounts  David's 
place  of  judgment.  The  Moslems  say  that  a  chain 
was  stretched  across  this  entrance  by  Solomon,  and  a 
truthful  witness  could  safely  grasp  it,  but  if  a  per- 
jurer did  so,  a  link  fell  off. 

The  Lord  is  said,  in  the  Koran,  to  have  brought 
Mohammed,  in  one  night,  from  Mecca,  to  this,  the 
"  most  distant "  shrine,  and  consequently  there  was 
built  south  of  the  Holy  Rock  the  Aksa  or  "  most 
distant "  mosque.  It  is  a  splendid  structure,  re- 
peatedly enlarged  and  decorated  by  various  caliphs, 
and  the  historians  describe  it  as  originally  a  Chris- 
tian basilica  of  Justinian.  There  is  a  stone  behind 
the  pulpit,  which  displays  the  footprint  of  Christ, 
and  on  each  side  a  pair  of  columns  stand  close 
together,  of  which  the  legend  is,  that  no  one  can  enter 
Heaven  unless  able  to  pass  between  them.  Near  the 
main  entrance,  are  the  graves  of  the  murderers  of 
St.  Thomas  a  Becket  of  Canterbury,  while  in  the 
floor  of  the  nave  is  the  Tomb  of  the  Sons  of  Aaron. 
In  the  eastern  wall,  enclosing  the  Haram,  is  the 
famous  Bab  ed-Dahiriyeh,  or  "  Golden  Gate,"  which 


416  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  Arabs  have  walled  up.  The  pillars  that  make 
the  door-posts,  facing  the  east,  are  said  to  have  been 
presented  by  the  Queen  of  Sheba  to  Solomon.  Orig- 
inally, the  Palm  Sunday  procession,  from  the  Mount 
of  Olives,  entered  by  this  gate,  but  the  Moslems 
closed  it,  because  of  their  tradition  that  on  some 
Friday  a  Christian  conqueror  will  enter  it  and 
capture  Jerusalem.  The  deep  valley  of  Jehosha- 
phat  is  outside,  with  the  Mount  of  Olives  beyond, 
and  near  the  gate  a  column  protrudes  horizontally 
from  the  wall.  The  Moslem  legend  is  that  at  the 
Last  Judgment  all  people  will  assemble  in  the  valley, 
and  the  enclosing  hills  will  recede  to  provide  room 
for  them.  From  this  column  a  frail  wire  rope  will 
be  -stretched  to  the  opposite  Mount,  with  Christ  sit- 
ting on  the  wall,  and  Mohammed  on  the  Mount,  as 
the  judges.  All  must  cross  the  wire,  and  the  right- 
eous, held  up  by  their  angels,  will  easily  pass  over  the 
abyss,  but  the  wicked  will  fall  off  the  wire,  and 
descend  into  hell.  Northward  of  the  Golden  Gate 
is  the  "  Mosque  of  the  Throne  of  Solomon."  This 
was  built  over  the  spot  where  King  Solomon  is  said 
to  have  been  found  dead  while  supposed  to  be  watch- 
ing the  construction  of  the  Temple.  The  tradition 
tells  that  in  order  to  conceal  his  death  from  the 
demons  and  genii  he  remained  seated,  supported  by 
his  staff;  and  it  was  not  until  the  worms  had  gnawed 
the  staff,  and  the  body  fell,  that  the  deceived  work- 
men found  that  the  king  no  longer  ruled  them. 


THE  HOLY  CITY  417 

This  interesting  legend  of  "  The  Dead  Solomon  "  in- 
spired John  Aylmer  Dorgan's  poem : 

King  Solomon  stood  in  the  House  of  the  Lord, 

And  the  genii  silently  wrought  around, 
Toiling  and  moiling  Avithout  a   word, 

Building  the  Temple  without  a  sound. 

Solemn  peace  was  on  his  brow, 

Leaning  upon  his  staff  in  prayer; 
And  a  breath  of  wind  would  come  and  go, 
And  stir   his  robe  and  beard  of  snow 

And  long  white  hair; 
But  he  heeded  not, 
Wrapt  afar  in  holy  thought. 

And  now  the  work  was  done, 

Perfected  in  every  part; 

And  the  demons  rejoiced  at  heart, 

And  made  ready  to  depart, 
But  dared  not  speak  to  Solomon, 
To  tell  him  their  task  was  done, 

And  fulfilled  the  desire  of  his  heart. 

So  around  him  they  stood  with  eyes  of  fire, 
Each  cursing  the  king  in  his  secret  heart, — 

Secretly  cursing  the  silent  king, 

Waiting  but  till  he  should  say  "Depart"; 

Cursing  the  king,  each  evil  thing: 

But  he  heeded  them  not,  nor  raised  his  head; 

For  King  Solomon  was  dead! 

Then  the  body  of  the  king  fell  down; 

For  a  worm  had  gnawed  his  staff  in  twain ; 
He  had  prayed  to  the  Lord  that  the  house  he  planned 
Might  not  be  left  for  another  hand, 

Might  not  unfinished  remain; 
So  praying,  he  had  died; 

But  had  not  prayed  in  vain. 

VOL.  11—27 


418  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

So  the  body  of  the  king  fell  down; 
And  howling  fled  the  fiends  amain; 
Bitterly  grieved,  to  be  so  deceived, 

Howling  after  they  fled; 
Idly  they  had  borne  his  chain 

And  done  his  hateful  tasks,  in  dread 
Of  mystic  penal  pain, — 

And  King  Solomon  was  dead! 

A  place  of  great  interest  is  outside  the  Haram, 
on  its  western  side,  and  near  the  southern  end  of 
the  enclosure,  the  "  Wailing  Place  of  the  Jews." 
This  is  a  wall  about  one  hundred  and  sixty  feet  long 
and  sixty  feet  high,  where,  during  centuries,  the 
Jews  have  gone,  particularly  on  Friday  afternoons, 
to  bewail  the  destruction  of  the  Temple  and  down- 
fall of  Jerusalem. 

In  the  city  wall,  to  the  northward  of  the  Haram, 
is  the  gate  of  Bab  Sitti  Mariam,  the  "  Gate  of  the 
Lady  Mary,"  called  also  "  St.  Stephen's  Gate,"  be- 
»  cause  the  martyr  was  taken  outside  it  to  be  stoned. 
This  is  an  elaborate  towered  gateway,  and  located 
just  north  of  it  is  the  Church  of  St.  Anne,  said  to 
occupy  the  site  of  the  house  of  the  parents  of  the 
Virgin,  Joachim  and  Anne.  A  street  leads  west- 
ward from  this  gate,  inside  the  city,  which  passes 
the  modern  Franciscan  "  Chapel  of  the  Scourging." 
Here  are  shown  relics  of  ancient  structures,  said  to 
be  survivals  of  the  "  Castle  of  Antonia,"  which  was 
the  Roman  Prsetorium,  the  dwelling  of  Pontius 
Pilate,  the  procurator  who  condemned  Christ.  At 


THE  HOLY  CITY  419 

this  place  begins  the  most  mournful  and  sacred 
route,  the  winding  Via  Dolorosa,  the  "  Way  of  the 
Cross."  This  route  is  well  marked  to-day  by  the 
various  "  Stations  of  the  Cross,"  but  its  exact  loca- 
tion is  unknown  and  doubtful.  The  repeated 
destructions  of  Jerusalem  obliterated  most  of  the 
ancient  landmarks,  and  filled  the  whole  of  this  dis- 
trict with  rubbish,  covering  the  old  streets  and 
buildings  to  a  depth  of  thirty  to  sixty  feet.  The 
site  of  the  "  Castle  of  Antonia "  is  now  occupied 
by  barracks,  and  here,  where  Christ's  final  mourn- 
ful journey  began,  is  the  first  "  Station  of  the 
Cross,"  where  Pilate,  after  the  scourging,  gave 
him  into  the  hands  of  his  accusers  to  be  crucified, 
and  bearing  the  cross  he  started  for  Calvary.  At 
the  foot  of  4he  steps,  descending  from  the  barracks, 
the  cross  was  laid  upon  him,  and  here  is  the 
second  Station.  These  steps,  which  the  Saviour  de- 
scended, were  long  aga  removed  to  Rome,  being  the 
"  sacred  stairs,"  now  in  the  Church  of  St.  Giovanni, 
and  an  object  of  most  pious  veneration. 

A  little  way  beyond,  the  Sisters  of  Zion  have 
built  an  impressive  structure,  and  alongside  it  the 
street  is  crossed  by  the  Ecce  Homo  arch.  This  arch 
commemorates  Pilate's  words  "  Behold  the  Man !  " 
The  northern  side  arch  makes  a  portion  of  the  choir 
of  the  Church  of  the  Sisters  of  Zion,  which  is  partly 
built  into  the  rock.  The  church  is  Eoman  work, 
and  there  are  traces  of  a  Roman  pavement  in  the 


420  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

vaults  beneath.  The  street  beyond  joins  the  main 
highway,  coming  south  from  the  Damascus  Gate, 
through  the  centre  of  Jerusalem,  and  here  the  Via 
Dolorosa  turns  into  that  highway,  there  being  va- 
rious sacred  structures  at  the  junction,  where  Christ 
sank  under  the  weight  of  the  cross,  this  being 
marked  by  a  broken  column,  which  is  the  third 
Station.  Going  south  along  the  Damascus  Street, 
there  is  passed  a  little  house  known  as  the  "  Home 
of  the  Poor  Man"  (Lazarus),  a -building,  however, 
of  the  middle  ages,  and  also  another  of  more  attrac- 
tiveness, which  projects  over  the  street,  the  "  Home 
of  the  Rich  Man"  (Dives).  Here  is  where  Christ 
is  said  to  have  met  his  mother,  and  it  is  the  fourth 
Station.  Farther  south,  the  route  leaves  the  Da- 
mascus road,  turning  westward  into  the  TariJc  el 
Alam,  the  "  Street  of  Suffering,"  where  Simon  of 
Cyrene,  who  happened  by,  took  up  the  cross  from 
Christ,  and  here  is  the  fifth  Station.  In  one  of  the 
houses  alongside,  a  stone  displays  a  depression,  said 
to  have  been  made  by  the  Saviour's  hand.  About 
three  hundred  feet  up  this  street  is  the  sixth  Sta- 
tion, at  the  house  and  tomb  of  St.  Veronica,  there 
being  an  ancient  crypt  beneath.  Here,  according 
to  the  tradition,  that  lady  wiped  the  sweat  from  the 
Saviour's  brow,  and  his  visage  remained  imprinted 
on  her  handkerchief.  This  sacred  relic  is  shown  in 
several  European  churches.  The  street,  farther  to 
the  westward,  is  vaulted  over,  and  here  was  the 


THE  HOLY  CITY  421 

Porta  Judiciaria,  the  ancient  city  gate,  where  the 
Saviour  passed  outside  the  old  wall.  Here  he  fell 
a  second  time,  and  it  is  the  seventh  Station.  Some 
distance  outside,  a  black  cross,  in  the  wall  of  a 
Greek  monastery,  marks  the  eighth  Station,  where 
Christ  addressed  the  women  accompanying  him, 
and  at  this  place  the  Via  Dolorosa  ends.  At  a 
Coptic  monastery  farther  on  Christ  again  sank 
under  the  weight  of  the  cross,  which  is  the  ninth 
Station.  This  is  at  the  Golgotha  chapels  of  the 
Church  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  where  there  are  four 
more  Stations,  and  the  fourteenth,  and  last  Station 
of  the  Cross,  is  in  the  Holy  Sepulchre. 

The  Bible  tells  us  that  Christ  was  taken  outside 
the  gate  to  Golgotha,  the  "  place  of  the  skull,"  for 
crucifixion.  The  visitor  approaching  Jerusalem, 
toward  the  Jaffa  Gate,  sees  a  prominent  hill,  from  a 
considerable  distance  —  a  rounded  hill,  skull-shaped, 
and  having  just  beneath  the  massive  forehead  two 
cavernous  openings,  like  eye  sockets.  It  is  to  the 
north  of  the  Jaffa  Gate,  and  from  the  resemblance 
to  the  skull  has  been  claimed  by  some  authorities 
as  the  site  of  the  Crucifixion.  This  hill,  northwest 
of  the  Damascus  Gate,  covers  the  Grotto  of  Jeremiah, 
a  series  of  caverns  where  the  prophet  is  said  to  have 
written  the  Lamentations.  The  chief  cave  is  about 
thirty-five  feet  high,  and  was  formerly  inhabited 
by  Moslem  monks  and  hermits.  The  top  and  sides 
are  in  various  colors.  The  site  generally  accepted 


422  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

as  the  place  of  the  Crucifixion  and  burial  is  a 
smaller  eminence  within  the  walls,  south  of  the 
Damascus  Gate,  and  northeast  of  and  near  to  the 
Jaffa  Gate,  being  now  covered  by  the  spacious  Church 
of  the  Holy  Sepulchre.  This,  in  Christ's  era,  was 
the  place  where  malefactors  were  put  to  death,  and  is 
the  greatest  of  all  the  holy  places  in  Jerusalem. 
"  Toward  this  hill,"  says  Dr.  De  Witt  Talmage,  "  the 
prophets  pointed  forward;  toward  this  hill  the  apos- 
tles and  martyrs  pointed  backward.  To  this  all 
heaven  pointed  downward;  to  this  with  frantic  exe- 
crations perdition  pointed  upward.  Round  it  circles 
all  history,  all  time,  all  eternity,  and  with  this  scene 
painters  have  covered  the  mightiest  canvases,  sculp- 
tors have  cut  the  richest  marbles,  orchestras  have 
rolled  their  grandest  oratorios,  churches  have  lifted 
their  greatest  doxologies,  and  heaven  has  built  its 
highest  thrones."  The  Church  of  the  Holy  Sep- 
ulchre now  rises  above  the  sacred  hill,  with  its 
conspicuous  dome  and  gilded  surmounting  cross,  the 
object  of  pilgrims  of  all  creeds  and  races,  for  within 
it  is  not  only  Calvary,  but  also  the  grotto  tomb, 
where  the  Saviour  was  buried,  and  from  which  he 
rose  from  the  dead. 

The  earliest  historian,  Bishop  Eusebius,  who 
lived  in  the  fourth  century,  records  that  the  exca- 
vations, made  by  the  Emperor  Constantine,  uncov- 
ered the  sacred  tomb  of  the  Saviour,  and  later  writ- 
ers describe  the  Empress  Helena's  pilgrimage  and 


THE  HOLY  CITY  423 

discovery  here  of  the  true  cross.  While  there  has 
been  much  dispute  as  to  the  actual  localities,  this 
has  heen  decided,  by  the  best  authorities,  as  the 
place,  and  in  the  year  336  there  were  consecrated 
two  churches,  one  the  Anastasis,  a  rotunda  covering 
the  sepulchre,  which  was  surrounded  by  statues  of 
the  twelve  apostles,  and  the  other  a  basilica,  dedi- 
cated to  the  Sign  of  the  Cross,  on  Mount  Calvary. 
There  are  only  scant  remains  of  either,  for  the  in- 
vading Persians  destroyed  both  in  the  seventh  cen- 
tury. New  churches  followed,  and,  in  the  twelfth 
century,  the  Crusaders  erected  a  large  structure  em- 
bracing all  the  holy  places,  much  of  which  remains. 
There  have  been  various  burnings  and  reconstruc- 
tions, and  finally  the  Greeks  and  Armenians,  in 
1810,  built  the  present  elaborate  church,  the  impos- 
ing dome  being  reconstructed  by  France  and  Hussia 
in  1868,  by  permission  of  the  Sultan  of  Turkey. 
This  is  an  immense  building,  the  dome  surmounting 
the  Holy  Sepulchre,  which  is  on  the  western  side, 
with  Calvary  toward  the  east.  The  main  entrance 
is  from  the  south,  having  an  outer  quadrangle, 
usually  occupied  by  beggars  and  traders.  They  tell 
us  that  here  Abraham  really  made  his  sacrifice,  for 
which  so  many  sites  are  claimed,  and  an  olive-tree 
marks  the  place  where  he  found  the  ram  which 
replaced  his  son  Isaac,  so  that  alongside  the  quad- 
rangle was  built  the  Church  of  Abraham.  There 
are  chapels  all  around  the  enclosure,  one  of  them 


424  THE  MEDITEERANEAN 

being  on  the  spot  where  Christ  is  said  to  have  ap- 
peared to  Mary  Magdalen,  it  being  dedicated  to 
her.  A  bell-tower,  with  its  upper  stories  destroyed, 
is  at  the  northwest  corner  of  the  quadrangle.  The 
reliefs,  over  the  church  portals,  represent  Christ 
raising  Lazarus  and  his  entry  into  Jerusalem.  In 
the  former  relief,  as  the  dead  Lazarus  rises  from  the 
tomb,  some  of  the  spectators,  in  the  background,  are 
depicted  as  holding  their  noses. 

In  the  interior  of  the  church,  the  main  portions 
are  the  circular  domed  structure  over  the  sepulchre, 
and  to  the  eastward  of  it,  a  large  rectangular  church, 
which  is  the  Greek  Cathedral,  known  as  the  Cathol- 
icon.  Upon  entering  the  portals,  the  south  aisle  of 
the  Catholicon  is  approached,  and  here  is  the  sacred 
"  Stone  of  Unction,"  surrounded  by  many  lamps 
and  candlesticks,  being  the  stone  on  which  was  laid 
the  body  of  Jesus,  when  anointed  by  Nicodemus, 
while,  a  short  distance  to  the  left,  stood  the  women 
who  witnessed  the  ceremony.  This  stone  is  a  slab  of 
reddish  yellow  marble,  about  seven  feet  long  and 
two  feet  wide,  but  it  is  said  to  have  been  frequently 
changed,  and  it  was  possessed  by  different  reli- 
gious bodies  at  various  times,  all  of  them  having  the 
privilege  of  burning  their  lamps  and  candles  over 
and  around  it.  The  Rotunda  of  the  Sepulchre  is 
entered  to  the  westward,  the  dome  borne  by  eighteen 
fine  pillars,  enclosing  the  sepulchre.  This  dome  is 
sixty-five  feet  in  diameter,  and  beneath  it  is  the 


THE  HOLY  CITY  425 

Chapel  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  a  marble  construc- 
tion, built  in  1810,  and  about  twenty-six  feet  long. 
This  consists  of  an  antechamber,  on  the  eastern  side, 
provided  with  stone  benches  and  candelabra,  which 
opens  into  the  Angel's  Chapel,  about  eleven  feet 
long,  and  that  in  turn  opens,  through  a  low  door, 
into  the  actual  Chapel  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  a 
small  apartment  about  six  feet  square.  In  the 
Angel's  Chapel  there  constantly  burn  fifteen  lamps, 
which  belong  to  different  sects,  the  Greeks,  Roman 
Catholics,  Armenians  and  Copts,  while  a  stone  set 
in  marble  is  in  the  centre,  and  is  said  to  be  the  stone 
which  covered  the  mouth  of  the  sepulchre,  and  was 
rolled  away  by  the  angel.  There  are  forty-three 
lamps  hanging  from  the  ceiling  of  the  actual  chapel, 
about  all  that  can  be  got  in,  and  reliefs  on  the  wall 
represent  the  Saviour  rising  from  the  tomb.  At  the 
tombstone  altar  mass  is  said  every  day.  Various 
chapels  surround  the  Rotunda,  with  tombs  in  the 
rock,  and  here  the  traditions  place  the  tombs  of 
Joseph  of  Arimathea,  who  owned  the  sepulchre,  and 
of  Nicodemus.  In  one  place  a  spot  is  marked 
where  Christ  appeared  to  Mary  Magdalen ;  and  in 
another,  called  the  "  Chapel  of  the  Apparition,"  he 
appeared  to  his  mother.  There  is  also  exhibited  a 
piece  of  the  "  Column  of  the  Scourging,"  in  a  lat- 
ticed niche,  the  pilgrims  pushing  a  stick  through 
to  touch  it,  and  then  kissing  the  stick.  Since  the 
Crusades,  the  formal  ceremony  of  receiving  and  in- 


426  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

itiating  Knights  of  the  Sepulchre  has  been  solem- 
nized here,  and  then  are  used  the  original  cross,  spurs 
and  sword  of  the  redoubtable  Godfrey  of  Bouillon, 
which  are  kept  in  the  sacristy. 

The  Catholicon,  to  the  eastward,  occupies  the  tra- 
ditional site  of  the  garden  of  Joseph  of  Arimathea. 
It  was  originally  constructed  by  the  Crusaders,  the 
nave  being  the  Greek  Cathedral.  Its  chief  feature 
is  the  cup,  in  the  western  part,  which  contains  a 
flattened  ball,  said  to  occupy  the  actual  "  centre  of 
the  world,"  so  ascertained,  we  are  told,  about  eight 
centuries  ago,  by  the  calculation  and  inspiration  of 
a  number  of  very  wise  men.  There  are  two  episco- 
pal thrones,  one  for  the  Patriarch  of  Antioch,  and 
the  other  for  the  Patriarch  of  Jerusalem,  and  among 
the  prized  treasures  is  a  piece  of  the  "  True  Cross." 
In  the  northeastern  corner  is  a  dark  chapel,  reputed 
to  have  been  the  prison  of  Christ  and  of  the  two 
thieves  before  the  Crucifixion.  Three  apses  are 
cut  out  of  the  thick  eastern  wall.  One  is  the 
"  Chapel  of  St.  Longinus,"  who  was  the  soldier  who 
pierced  Jesus'  side  with  his  spear.  The  legend  is, 
that  he  was  blind  of  one  eye,  and  when  some  of  the 
water  and  the  blood  spurted  into  it,  his  sight  was  re- 
stored, whereupon  he  repented  and  became  a  Chris- 
tian. Another  apse  is  the  "  Chapel  of  the  Parting 
of  the  Raiment,"  and  the  third  is  the  "  Chapel  of  the 
Derision  and  the  Crowning  with  Thorns."  A  long 
stairway,  to  the  eastward,  leads  down  to  the  spacious 


THE  HOLY  CITY  427 

"  Chapel  of  St.  Helena,"  where  originally  stood  Con- 
stantine's  church.  This  is  surmounted  by  a  dome, 
supported  by  four  thick  reddish  columns,  that  the 
old  tradition  says  used  to  shed  tears.  Two  apses, 
at  the  eastern  end,  are  dedicated  respectively  to  the 
Penitent  Thief  and  to  St.  Helena.  A  seat,  near  the 
southeast  corner,  was  occupied  by  the  empress- 
saint  while  the  cross  was  being  sought,  and  in  this 
chapel  the  "  True  Cross  "  is  said  to  have  been  found 
in  the  southeast  corner,  where  another  flight  of 
steps  descends  to  the  "  Chapel  of  the  Invention  of 
the  Cross " —  the  place  of  actual  finding.  This 
chapel  is  a  cavern  about  twenty-four  feet  long  and 
sixteen  feet  high,  and  is  adorned  with  a  life-size 
bronze  statue  of  St.  Helena  holding  the  cross. 

On  the  southern  side  of  the  Catholicon,  and  be- 
tween it  and  the  southern  quadrangle,  is  Golgotha, 
or  Mount  Calvary,  to  which  flights  of  steps  ascend, 
it  being  about  fifteen  feet  above  the  present  level 
of  the  church.  Here  is  constructed  the  "  Chapel 
of  the  Raising  of  the  Cross,"  which  forms  the  twelfth 
Station  of  the  Cross,  of  the  Via  Dolorosa,  a  chapel 
about  forty-two  feet  long,  and  having  in  the  eastern 
apse  an  opening,  lined  with  silver,  where  the  cross  is 
said  to  have  been  inserted  in  the  rock,  the  location 
of  the  crosses  of  the  thieves  also  being  shown,  in  the 
corners  of  the  altar  space.  Near  the  Cross  of  Christ 
is  the  "  cleft  in  the  rock  "  mentioned  by  St.  Matthew, 
covered  with  a  brass  slide,  which,  when  opened, 


428  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

shows  the  cleft  about  a  foot  deep,  though  they  tell 
visitors  it  really  reaches  down  to  the  centre  of  the 
earth.  Adjoining  is  the  "  Chapel  of  the  Nailing 
to  the  Cross,"  where  Christ  is  said  to  have  been  dis- 
robed, and  nailed  to  the  cross,  the  spots  being  indi- 
cated by  pieces  of  marble  in  the  pavement,  these 
being  the  tenth  and  eleventh  Stations.  The  "  Altar 
of  the  Stabat "  is  between  the  two  chapels,  and  is 
the  thirteenth  Station,  where  Mary  received  Christ's 
body  on  the  descent  from  the  cross.  The  fourteenth 
and  last  Station  is  at  the  Holy  Sepulchre.  Under 
the  "  Chapel  of  the  Raising  of  the  Cross  "  is  the 
"  Chapel  of  Adam,"  named  from  the  tradition  that 
Adam  was  buried  here,  and  that  the  blood  of  Christ, 
flowing  through  the  cleft  in  the  rock,  fell  on  his 
head,  and  he  was  restored  to  life.  The  cleft  com- 
ing down  from  above  is  here  covered  by  a  small 
brass  door.  In  this  chapel  were  originally  buried 
Godfrey  of  Bouillon  and  Baldwin  I,  King  of  Jeru- 
salem, but  their  bones  were  long  ago  scattered  by  the 
Arabs.  All  the  chapels  and  sacred  places,  in  this 
great  Church  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  are  gorgeously 
decorated.  Gold,  silver,  precious  stones,  mosaics, 
embroidery,  carvings  and  handicraft  of  every  de- 
scription are  in  profusion,  vast  sums  having  been 
expended  upon  their  ornamentation  by  the  different 
religious  communities,  whose  rivalries  are  most  in- 
tense. Armies  of  pilgrims  and  tourists  go  through 
the  holy  places,  and  the  religious  fervor  culminates 


THE  HOLY  CITY  429 

at  Easter,  when  there  are  elaborate  processions  and 
solemn  services.  On  the  eve  of  Easter  all  the  lamps 
are  extinguished,  and  then  comes  the  mysterious 
miracle  of  the  "  Holy  Eire,"  which  it  is  said  comes 
down  from  heaven,  and  suddenly  appears  through 
a  window  in  the  Sepulchre,  when  a  tumult  follows, 
everyone  trying  to  be  first  to  get  his  candle  lighted, 
and  this  sacred  fire  being  carried  home  as  a  prized 
possession  by  the  pilgrims. 

Across  from  Mount  Moriah,  beyond  the  deep  val- 
ley of  Jehoshaphat,  is  the  Mount  of  Olives,  the  Ara- 
bian Jebel  et  Tur,  or  "  Mountain  of  Light,"  an  elon- 
gated ridge,  which  rises  two  hundred  feet  higher,  and 
thus  overlooks  Jerusalem.  It  is  closely  connected 
with  the  last  days  of  Christ,  for  here,  in  full  view  of 
the  Temple,  he  announced  to  his  disciples  its  coming 
destruction ;  from  here  he  rode  into  the  city  on  an 
ass,  amid  the  popular  jubilation;  and  after  the  Last 
Supper,  he  repaired  to  the  Garden  of  Gethsemane 
on  its  lower  slope,  was  betrayed  by  Judas,  and  from 
the  summit  he  finally  ascended  to  heaven.  Its 
highest  elevation  rises  2,732  feet.  Down  in  the 
valley  is  the  "  Church  of  the  Tomb  of  the  Virgin," 
a  church  having  existed  here  since  the  fifth  century, 
marking  the  place  where  she  is  said  to  have  been 
interred  by  the  Apostles.  Here  are  also  the  tombs 
of  Joseph,  and  of  her  parents  Joachim  and 
Anne,  transferred  in  the  fifteenth  century  from 
the  Church  of  St.  Anne  at  St.  Stephen's  Gate. 


430  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

This  church  is  mostly  underground,  and  from  it  a 
passage  leads  to  the  "  Cavern  of  the  Agony  "  where 
Jesus  had  the  bloody  sweat.  A  little  way  off  is 
the  Garden  of  Gethsemane,  the  name  meaning  the 
"  oil  press."  It  is  an  enclosure  of  about  an  acre,  an 
irregular  square,  surrounded  by  a  white  stone  fence 
and  hedge,  a  quiet  and  secluded  spot.  Within,  the 
garden  is  enclosed  by  an  iron  fence,  and  a  path  runs 
all  around,  between  the  two  fences,  having  upon  it 
fourteen  small  shrines,  with  pictures  above  them,  to 
represent  the  fourteen  Stations  of  the  Cross.  The 
iron  fence  encloses  eight  gnarled  and  venerable  olive 
trees,  dating  from  the  time  of  Christ  and  carefully 
preserved  by  the  Franciscan  monks.  Here  a  rock 
marks  the  place  where  Peter,  James  and  John  slept, 
and  were  chided  by  Jesus,  and  a  broken  column  in- 
dicates where  Judas  betrayed  the  Master  with  a  kiss. 
On  the  hill  slope  above,  the  spot  is  pointed  out  where 
the  Virgin,  upon  her  Assumption,  dropped  her  girdle 
into  the  hands  of  St.  Thomas.  The  summit  of  the 
Mount  belongs  to  the  Russians,  who  have  a  church 
and  other  buildings,  surrounded  by  a  high  wall.  In 
front  of  this  church  a  stone  marks  the  scene  of  the 
Ascension,  according  to  the  Greek  Church  belief.  A 
lofty  tower  is  erected  on  the  topmost  level,  giving  a 
magnificent  view.  A  spacious  hospital  is  being  con- 
structed by  the  Germans,  on  the  Mount  of  Olives,  the 
corner  stone  having  been  laid  in  April,  1907. 

The  slopes  of  the  valley  of  the   Kidron,   below 


THE  HOLY  CITY  431 

Gethsemane,  are  covered  with  ancient  tombs. 
Among  them  is  the  curious  "  Tomb  of  Absalom,"  a 
huge  cube  hewn  out  of  the  rock,  surmounted 
by  a  square  stone  structure  topped  by  a  spire, 
and  rising  about  fifty  feet.  The  Jews  used 
to  throw  stones  at  it,  because  of  Absalom's 
disobedience.  It  probably  never  held  Absalom's 
remains,  and  seems  to  have  been  an  old  Chris- 
tian chapel.  Near  by  is  the  "  Tomb  of  Jehosh- 
aphat,"  which  also  was  a  chapel,  and  at  the  time  of 
the  Crusades,  said  to  have  been  the  tomb  of  St. 
James.  The  Grotto  of  St.  James  adjoins,  where, 
according  to  a  tradition,  he  was  concealed,  from  the 
time  of  the  capture  of  Jesus  until  the  resurrection. 
South  of  it  is  hewn  out  of  the  rock  the  monumental 
"Pyramid  of  Zacharias,"  rising  thirty  feet. 
Farther  south  is  the  village  of  Siloah,  the  houses 
built  among  the  tombs  on  the  steep  hillside,  and 
many  of  the  old  rock-tombs  being  used  as  dwellings. 
Near  by  is  the  curious  "  Fountain  of  the  Virgin," 
an  intermittent  spring,  the  water  flowing  only  at  in- 
tervals, and  then  drying  up,  owing  to  the  syphon- 
shaped  passage  which  comes  from  the  interior  res- 
ervoir. The  legend  is,  that  the  Virgin  here  washed 
the  swaddling  clothes  of  the  infant  Jesus.  Farther 
down  the  valley  is  the  famous  "  Pool  of  Siloah  "  or 
Siloam,  whither  was  sent  to  be  healed  the  man  who 
had  been  blind  from  his  birth.  To  it  leads  a  chan- 
nel-way from  the  "  Fountain  of  the  Virgin."  Be- 


432  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

low,  the  valley  of  Hinnom  joins  the  other,  and  here 
is  "  Job's  Well,"  125  feet  deep,  of  excellent  water, 
and  in  which  the  tradition  says  the  "  Holy  Fire  " 
was  concealed,  during  the  Jewish  captivity,  being 
afterward  recovered  by  Nehemiah.  From  this  well 
a  path  leads  steeply  up  the  slope  of  the  "  Mount  of 
Evil  Counsel,"  enclosing  the  valley  to  the  south- 
ward, where,  on  what  is  now  the  barren  summit, 
Caiaphas,  the  high  priest,  is  said  to  have  then  had  a 
country  house,  in  which  he  consulted  how  to  capture 
Jesus,  and  arranged  with  Judas  for  the  betrayal. 
This  hill  is  also  full  of  vaulted  tombs,  several  now 
being  dwelling  places.  The  largest,  used  as  a  Greek 
chapel,  is  the  "  Apostles'  Cave,"  where  they  were 
concealed  during  the  Crucifixion.  Graves  and  bones 
are  plenty  all  about,  and  here  is  generally  located  the 
Aceldama,  or  "  Field  of  Blood,"  of  St.  Matthew. 

The  paths  out  of  the  valley  of  Hinnom,  in  this 
portion,  lead  upward  and  northward,  entering  Je- 
rusalem by  its  southern  gate,  now  known  as  the 
"  Gate  of  Zion,"  and  called  by  the  Moslems  the 
"Gate  of  the  Prophet  David."  The  rocky  hill 
slopes  here  are  mostly  cemeteries  and  modern  burial 
places  of  the  various  Christian  sects.  Part  \vay  up 
are  a  mass  of  buildings,  originally  belonging  to  the 
Franciscans,  but  now  a  Moslem  possession,  known  as 
the  "  Prophet  David  "  and  said  to  contain  his  tomb, 
which  is  held  in  special  Moslem  reverence.  This 
tomb  is  in  the  vaults  of  an  old  church,  which 


THE  HOLY  CITY  433 

upon  the  first  floor  has  the  Crenaculuin,  or 
"  Chamber  of  the  Last  Supper,"  a  stone  in  the 
northern  wall  marking  the  seat  of  Jesus.  Farther 
up  the  hill,  and  near  the  City  Gate,  is  an  Armenian 
monastery,  which  the  legend  describes  as  standing 
on  the  site  of  the  House  of  Caiaphas.  This  struc- 
ture is  an  excavated  ruin,  having  steps  leading  about 
fifteen  feet  down  to  the  marble  floor.  A  circle  in 
the  pavement  is  shown  as  the  place  where  Peter 
stood,  with  the  soldiers,  on  the  cold  night,  warming 
himself  at  the  little  fire  they  had  kindled  in  a  bra- 
zier, when  he  was  accused  of  being  a  companion  of 
Jesus,  then  on  trial  before  the  high  priest  in  the 
room  above,  and  denied.  A  stone  pillar  in  the 
courtyard  is  pointed  out  as  where  the  cock  stood 
when  he  crowed.  The  whole  region  around  Jeru- 
salem is  filled  with  Biblical  places,  and  is  thus  of 
deepest  interest,  but  the  uncertainties  of  tradition, 
and  the  varying  legends  and  records  at  different 
times,  tend  to  cast  doubts  upon  many  of  the  tales 
told  about  them.  The  visitor,  therefore,  has  to  make 
allowance  for  the  stories,  though  the  visit  to  the 
Holy  City  is,  nevertheless,  the  greatest  feature  of 
the  tour  in  Palestine.  Jerusalem  has  an  almost 
complete  environment  of  caverns  and  rock-tombs, 
among  the  most  notable  being  the  "  Tombs  of  the 
Kings "  on  the  northern  side,  extensive  chambers, 
where  very  early  kings  and  queens  are  said  to  have 

been  interred.     Similar  caverns,  near  by,  are  known 
VOL.  11—28 


434  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

as  the  "  Tombs  of  the  Judges  "  and  "  Tombs  of  the 
Prophets." 

BETHLEHEM    TO    BEEBSHEBA. 

An  excellent  highway,  over  the  limestone  hills, 
leads  from  Jerusalem  about  six  miles  southward  to 
Bethlehem.  On  the  way  is  pointed  out  one  of  the 
numerous  trees  where  Judas  is  said  to  have  hanged 
himself;  and  also  the  cistern  which  is  the  traditional 
"  Well  of  the  Magi,"  where  the  "  Three  Wise  Men 
from  the  East "  on  the  way  to  the  birthplace  of  Jesus 
are  said  to  have  seen  the  reflection  of  their  guiding 
star,  as  they  stopped  to  drink.  The  identity  of 
this  "  Star  of  Bethlehem  "  has  been  the  subject  of 
speculation  by  scientists  in  all  ages.  Kepler  thought 
it  was  a  conjunction  of  Jupiter  and  Saturn,  which 
according  to  astronomical  calculation,  came  about 
that  time.  Proctor  and  others  believed  it  to  be  a 
comet,  and  some  describe  it  as  a  nova  or  "  new  star," 
of  which  several  instances  are  recorded  in  the  period 
referred  to,  some  being  of  the  first  magnitude. 

Ascending  the  hill  of  the  "  Monastery  of  St. 
Elias,"  about  half  way  to  Bethlehem,  that  city  comes 
into  view,  spreading  over  the  plain  beyond.  Here 
Elijah,  in  his  flight  to  Beersheba,  after  Jezebel  had 
threatened  him,  became  wearied,  and  lying  upon  a 
rock,  his  body  made  a  depression  in  it,  which  is 
indicated,  with  fervor,  by  the  monks.  Then  we 
come  to  the  Tomb  of  Rachel,  a  small  oblong  structure, 


BETHLEHEM  TO  BEERSHEBA        435 

surmounted  by  a  dome,  a  much  revered  shrine  of  the 
pilgrims  of  all  beliefs.  The  land  hereabout  is  well 
cultivated,  so  much  as  the  very  abundant  supply  of 
rocks  and  stones  will  allow,  the  decomposed  lime- 
stone producing  luxuriant  growth.  Most  of  the  veg- 
etable and  fruit  supply  for  Jerusalem  is  produced 
in  this  district,  the  orchards  and  gardens  covering 
the  slopes,  and  the  women  carrying  their  products, 
along  the  road  to  the  city,  in  huge  baskets  poised  on 
their  heads.  Some  of  these  products  are  of  the  best 
quality  known,  particularly  the  cauliflowers  which 
reach  a  size  and  development  beyond  anything 
grown  in  other  regions.  Hewn  out  of  the  rock  near 
Bethlehem  is  "  David's  Well,"  and  here  is  got  a 
good  view  of  the  square  yellow  stone  houses  of  the 
little  town  of  the  Nativity,  covering  a  sloping  hill- 
side, and  having  the  wide-spreading  "  Church  of  the 
Nativity "  as  its  chief  feature.  On  the  plain  be- 
yond, we  are  told  that  the  gentle  Ruth  gleaned, 
while  on  the  surrounding  hills  her  great-grandson,  the 
youthful  David,  pastured  his  flocks. 

Bethlehem  —  the  Bet  Lehem  or  "  place  of  food," 
—  was  the  home  of  the  family  of  David,  the  scene  of 
Ruth's  idyllic  life,  and  the  birthplace  of  Jesus. 
The  town,  built  on  a  long  and  narrow  ridge,  is 
shaped  much  like  a  horseshoe,  with  "  David's  Well  " 
near  the  northern  end,  and  the  low,  flat-roofed  houses 
are  huddled  closely  together,  much  as  they  were  at 
the  time  of  the  Nativity.  The  chief  street  has  a  row 


436  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

of  arches  on  either  side,  which  are  the  entrances  to 
the  shops,  their  interiors  being  usually  without  win- 
dows. A  spacious  square,  near  the  Church  of  the 
Nativity,  is  the  marketplace,  and  here  is  a  pastoral 
air,  as  the  sheep  and  goats  are  brought  into  town  for 
sale,  much  as  they  were  in  the  days  of  the  infant 
Jesus.  There  are  about  eight  thousand  people  now 
in  Bethlehem,  almost  all  being  Christians,  unlike 
the  populations  of  most  other  Palestine  towns. 
Jesus  was  born  in  a  cave,  which  was  the  stable  of  an 
inn,  or  kahn,  as  it  is  called  here.  Over  this  cave, 
and  the  manger,  where  the  newborn  babe  was  laid, 
the  Emperor  Constantine  erected  a  fine  church  in 
the  fourth  century,  while  later,  Justinian  rebuilt  the 
walls  of  the  town,  and  the  coming  of  the  numerous 
pilgrims,  thus  attracted,  made  Bethlehem  a  flourish- 
ing place.  When  the  Crusaders  arrived,  the  Arabs 
burnt  the  town,  but  it  was  afterward  rebuilt.  There 
have  been  frequent  quarrels  between  the  Christians 
and  Moslems,  and  the  latter  were  expelled  in  1831, 
so  that  few  now  live  here.  There  are,  however,  un- 
seemly conflicts  between  the  Christian  sects  that 
divide  the  control  over  the  holy  places,  so  that  a 
Turkish  guard  is  maintained.  Pitched  battles  have 
taken  place  within  the  "  Church  of  the  Nativity," 
and  actually  around  the  manger,  and  it  is  said  that 
one  of  these  disputes,  about  rights  within  the 
church,  was  the  cause  of  the  Crimean  War  in  1854. 
A  monk  was  killed  in  the  church,  and  two  others 


BETHLEHEM  TO  BEERSHEBA        437 

wounded  in  1893.  At  nearly  every  Greek  Christ- 
mas celebration  here,  in  recent  years,  there  have 
been  fights,  and  in  January,  1907,  one  of  the  latest 
conflicts  reported,  five  monks  were  badly  wounded, 
the  quarrel  being  about  burning  candles  in  the  cav- 
ern. 

The  old  "  Church  of  the  Nativity,"  which  covers 
the  cavern,  looks  more  like  a  prison,  or  fortress,  than 
a  place  of  worship,  and  is  a  spacious  structure  of 
yellowish  stone  walls,  pierced  with  small  windows. 
The  entrance  door  is  low  and  narrow,  having  been 
thus  built  that  it  might  be  the  more  readily  de- 
fended. The  convents  of  the  Greek,  Armenian  and 
Roman  churches  surround  it,  and  are  also  fortress 
buildings.  The  church  is  one  of  the  earliest  Chris- 
tian constructions,  its  interior  being  very  simple 
and  bare  of  ornamentation.  There  are  a  nave, 
with  double  aisles  on  either  side,  a  broad  transept, 
and  at  the  extremity  an  apse.  The  floor  is  paved 
with  large  flat  stones,  and  a  solid  wall  separates  the 
nave  from  the  transept.  Pour  rows  of  reddish  lime- 
stone columns,  about  twenty  feet  high,  divide  the 
nave  and  aisles.  Beneath  the  choir,  whence  flights 
of  steps  descend,  is  the  "  Chapel  of  the  Nativity," 
about  forty  feet  long  and  twelve  feet  wide,  lighted 
by  thirty-two  pendant  lamps.  This  was  the  cavern, 
and  is  now  paved  and  walled  with  marble,  its  altar 
being  in  a  recess  on  the  eastern  side.  Underneath 
the  altar,  also  in  a  recess,  is  a  small  semicircular 


438  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

shrine,  about  four  feet  high,  having  a  silver  star  let 
into  the  pavement,  which  reflects  the  light  of  fifteen 
lamps  that  hang  around  it.  This  is  believed  to  be 
upon  the  spot  over  which  halted  the  Star  that  guided 
the  "  Three  Wise  Men,"  and  the  Latin  inscription 
records  "  Here  Jesus  Christ  was  born  of  the  Virgin 
Mary."  Three  steps  farther  descend,  from  the 
recess  to  the  "  Chapel  of  the  Manger,"  the  man- 
ger being  now  of  marble  and  containing  a  wax  doll 
representing  the  infant  Jesus.  The  original  man- 
ger was  taken  away,  in  early  times,  to  the  Church 
of  St.  Maria  Maggiore  in  Rome,  where  it  is  now 
shown.  To  this  shrine,  for  many  centuries,  the  pil- 
grims have  come,  to  kneel  and  kiss  the  silver  star,  as 
they  have  poured  out  their  supplications  and  adora- 
tions. The  great  festivals  solemnized  in  the  church 
are  at  Christmas,  the  Greeks  having  theirs  in  Jan- 
uary, according  to  the  old  calendar.  The  culminat- 
ing ceremony  is  the  solemn  procession,  which  con- 
ducts the  infant  Jesus  into  the  church,  and  then 
into  the  cavern  chapel,  where  the  doll  is  reverently 
laid  in  the  manger.  In  the  crypt  is  also  shown  the 
tomb  of  St.  Jerome,  this  great  father  of  the  church, 
in  the  fourth  century,  having  dwelt  in  a  cavern 
here,  where  he  made  the  Latin  translation  of  the 
Bible,  which  is  known  as  the  Vulgate. 

A  little  way  southward  from  the  church  is  the 
"  Milk  Grotto,"  another  small  cave,  which  the  tradi- 
tion says  was  once  a  refuge  for  the  Holy  Family, 


BETHLEHEM  TO  BEERSHEBA        439 

when  some  drops  of  the  Virgin's  milk  fell  upon  the 
floor.  This,  during  centuries,  was  believed  to  have 
endowed  the  grotto  with  the  property  of  increasing 
the  milk  supply  of  women  and  also  of  animals. 
Beyond  the  eastern  verge  of  the  city  is  the  "  Field 
of  the  Shepherds,"  where  the  angels  appeared  to  the 
shepherds,  while  tending  their  flocks,  announcing 
to  them  the  Birth  of  Christ  at  Bethlehem.  Here 
stood  a  church  and  monastery  for  a  long  period ;  and 
now  the  "  Grotto  of  the  Shepherds  "  is  in  the  field, 
and  has  been  converted  into  a  subterranean  chapel. 
Southeast  from  Bethlehem,  its  summit  being  a  prom- 
inent conical  hill,  elevated  nearly  350  feet,  and  rising 
about  2,500  feet  above  the  sea,  is  the  Frank  Moun- 
tain, so  called  because  here  the  Crusaders  made  their 
last  stand  against  the  Moslems.  The  top  of  this 
hill  is  an  artificial  construction,  and  on  it  are  remains 
of  the  enclosing  wall  and  towers  of  Herod's  Castle 
of  Herodium ;  the  tradition  telling  that  here  he  was 
buried.  There  is  a  superb  view  from  the  summit, 
extending  far  over  the  Dead  Sea.  To  the  south- 
west, in  a  deep  gorge,  is  the  famous  "  Cave  of 
Adullam,"  where  David  sought  refuge,  when  he 
feigned  madness,  and  gathered  around  him  all  the 
discontented,  before  he  began  his  victorious  cam- 
paign. It  is  a  labyrinthine  grotto  in  the  limestone, 
stretching  nearly  a  thousand  feet  into  the  hillside, 
expanding  into  various  chambers,  and  having  long 
been  used  for  tombs,  and  the  dwellings  of  hermits. 


440  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Xot  far  away  is  the  hilltop  of  Tekoah,  rising  2,790 
feet,  which  was  the  birthplace  of  the  prophet  Amos, 
and  was  fortified  by  Rehoboam.  To  the  westward, 
and  on  yet  higher  ground,  about  eight  miles  south 
from  Jerusalem,  are  the  "  Pools  of  Solomon,"  three 
large  dams,  which  supply  the  aqueduct  leading  to 
Jerusalem.  They  have  been  made  by  constructing 
walls,  at  different  levels,  across  a  deep  and  narrow 
gorge,  and  are  in  good  preservation,  still  supplying 
water  as  they  did  in  the  Roman  era.  A  very  good 
road  is  constructed  past  these  pools,  from  Jerusalem, 
twenty-three  miles  southward,  through  a  rather  barr 
ren  country,  to  Hebron.  On  the  way  are  passed  the 
grave  of  Jonah,  which  has  a  mosque  built  over  it, 
the  tomb  of  the  prophet  Gad,  and  the  spring  where 
St.  Philip  is  said  to  have  baptized  the  eunuch  of 
Ethiopia,  as  recorded  in  The  Acts. 

Hebron  is  a  place  of  the  greatest  antiquity,  the 
ancient  Kirjeth  Arba,  the  home  of  Abraham,  and 
according  to  the  Moslem  tradition,  Adam  died  here. 
It  is  at  a  high  elevation,  over  3,000  feet,  though 
located  in  a  valley,  and  the  immediate  surroundings 
are  fertile,  abounding  in  springs.  In  Genesis  we 
are  told  that  here  came  Abraham,  and  pitched  his 
tent  under  the  oaks  of  Mamre,  the  Amorite,  and  that 
when  Sarah  died  he  bought  from  Ephron  the  Hittite 
the  double  cavern  of  Machpelah  as  a  burial  place, 
Isaac  and  Jacob  being  also  buried  here.  Joshua  de- 
stroyed Hebron,  but  it  was  restored,  and  became 


BETHLEHEM  TO  BEERSHEBA        441 

David's  capital  of  the  kingdom  of  Judah,  for  more 
than  seven  years,  he  causing  the  murderers  of  Saul's 
son  Ishbosheth  to  be  hanged  by  its  pool,  while,  at  the 
gates  of  the  town,  Joab  slew  Abner.  The  rebellious 
Absalom  made  Hebron  his  headquarters.  The  Mos- 
lems revere  it,  as  one  of  the  most  sacred  places  of 
Islam,  the  Arabian  name  being  El-Kahlil  er-rabman, 
"  the  city  of  Abram,  the  friend  of  God."  There  are 
now  about  sixteen  thousand  people  in  and  around 
the  long  narrow  valley,  and  their  manners  and  cos- 
tumes are  said  to  have  changed  little  since  the  days 
of  Abraham.  These  people  make  glass,  and  fashion 
their  goathides  into  waterskins.  Their  two  great 
relics  are  the  Oak  of  Mamre  and  the  Cave  of  Mach- 
pelah.  The  famous  old  oak  is  preserved  in  the  gar- 
den of  the  Russian  Hospice,  a  noble  but  dying  tree, 
of  great  age,  its  trunk  having  thirty-two  feet  girth. 
It  has  always  been  looked  upon  with  the  greatest 
reverence. 

The  Cave  of  Machpelah  is  surrounded  by  the 
Haram,  or  sacred  enclosure,  and  is  the  special 
shrine  of  the  pilgrims,  as  next  to  the  tomb  of  Mo- 
hammed at  Mecca,  this  burial  place  of  Abraham  is 
the  most  sacred  burial  place  in  Islam.  There  is 
great  jealousy  of  Christian  intrusion  within  the  en- 
closure, but  usually  backsheesh  will  overcome  this 
for  the  visitor.  The  Crusaders  built  a  church  over 
the  cave,  which  has  becojne  a  mosque,  and  two 
openings  in  the  floor  lead  down  into  the  cave.  Six 


442  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

cenotaphs  appear  above  the  ground,  in  the  church 
and  court,  in  pairs,  being  placed  over  the  tombs  of 
Abraham  and  Sarah,  Isaac  and  Rebecca,  and  Jacob 
and  Leah.  There  are  green  cloth  hangings  over  the 
cenotaphs,  embroidered  in  gold  and  silver,  and  rich 
cashmere  and  camel's  hair  shawls  are  also  folded 
across  them.  Here  is  an  alleged  tomb  of  Joseph, 
which,  however,  does  not  seem  to  have  been  known 
prior  to  the  fourteenth  century,  and  a  footprint  of 
Mohammed  is  shown  on  a  stone.  The  enclosing 
walls,  of  huge  blocks,  are  of  the  Herodian  period. 

Westward  from  Hebron,  various  caravan  routes 
go  to  the  ports  on  the  Mediterranean.  On  the  way 
is  the  Moslem  village  of  Beit  Jibrin,  the  "  House 
of  Gabriel,"  which  exists  amid  the  ruins  of  what 
was  Rehoboam's  stronghold  of  Moreshah,  that  be- 
came the  Roman  Baitogabia,  and  the  Crusaders' 
Gibelon.  Besides  the  old  castle,  the  most  interest- 
ing relics  are  the  numerous  rock  caverns  that  were 
ancient  dwelling  places  throughout  a  large  part  of 
this  end  of  Palestine,  the  people  thus  avoiding  the 
intense  heat.  Down  by  the  seashore  are  the  remains 
of  Ascalon,  one  of  the  chief  cities  of  the  Philistines, 
the  birthplace  of  Herod  the  Great,  and  a  stronghold 
of  the  Crusaders,  who  surrounded  it  with  ramparts, 
of  which  there  are  still  some  remains.  Not  far 
away  is  the  Philistine  city  of  Esdud,  where  St. 
Philip  preached  the  Gospel,  and  also  Yebna,  sup- 
posed to  have  been  Goth,  another  important  Philis- 


BETHLEHEM  TO  BEERSHEBA       443 

tine  city  before  the  Herodian  period.  Down  the 
coast  is  Gaza,  which  was  the  southernmost  of  the 
allied  Philistine  towns,  and  is  now  known  as 
Ghezzeh,  being  less  important  than  in  the  ancient 
days,  though  the  present  population  numbers  about 
forty-eight  thousand.  It  is  a  port  for  trade  with 
the  Bedouins,  who  roam  over  the  deserts  in  the  in- 
terior, and  is  built  mainly  on  a  hill  slope.  Its 
great  relic  is  the  tomb  of  Hashim,  the  grandfather 
of  Mohammed,  now  covered  by  an  antique,  but  re- 
cently restored,  mosque.  On  the  edge  of  the  mod- 
ern town  is  pointed  out  the  place  where  Samson 
bowed  down  and  overthrew  the  gateposts  of  the 
Philistines,  causing  his  and  their  destruction.  This 
region  was  anciently  the  plain  of  Peleshet,  extend- 
ing between  Mount  Carmel  and  the  Egyptian  border, 
where  lived  the  Pelishtim,  who  became  known  as 
the  Philistines.  Whence  they  came  was  unknown, 
but  they  entered  the  plain  from  the  sea,  about  the 
twelfth  century  B.  C.,  and  introduced  the  pagan 
worship  of  Dagon  and  Derket,  both  appearing  in 
the  form  of  fish.  They  engaged  in  almost  constant 
warfare  with  the  Israelites,  and  overcame  them 
until  the  time  of  Saul  and  David.  They  seem  to 
have  disappeared,  as  a  separate  nation,  after  the 
Jewish  captivity,  but  Gaza  continued  to  have  a 
lucrative  trade,  especially  with  Egypt,  in  the  Roman 
era,  and  it  was  the  centre  of  the  pagan  worship  of 
Dagon,  until  Constantine's  reign,  when  the  statues 


4:44:  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  temples  of  the  idols  were  destroyed.  Philemon, 
to  whom  the  Epistle  was  addressed,  was,  according 
to  tradition,  the  first  Bishop  of  Gaza.  The  Moslems 
have  always  had  great  regard  for  the  place,  because 
Hashim,  who  traded  with  it,  happened  to  die  here. 

To  the  southward  of  Gaza  rises  the  hill  of  Muntar, 
or  the  "  watch-tower,"  giving  a  noble  view  over  the 
beautiful  town,  with  its  rich  green  environment,  and 
westward  across  the  yellow  sand-hills  to  the  Medi- 
terranean. Farther  down  the  coast  is  the  level 
valley  of  El-Arish,  which  the  books  of  Numbers  and 
Isaiah  refer  to  as  the  "  Eiver  of  Egypt,"  while  all 
around,  to  the  south  and  southeast,  beyond  the  culti- 
vated lands,  stretches  the  sandy  desert  of  southern 
Palestine,  which  the  Bible  calls  the  Desert  of  Judah. 
Across  this  region  of  many  ruins,  and  a  surface  of 
mostly  barren  limestone,  the  traveller  rides  south- 
east to  Khirbat  Bir-es-Seba,  the  Beersheba,  whose 
wells  gave  waters  to  the  patriarchs,  in  the  southern- 
most settlement  of  Israel.  It  has  been  practically 
decadent  for  several  centuries.  There  were  seven 
wells  on  the  northern  slope  of  a  valley,  and  six 
still  supply  water  to  the  sparse  population,  which  lives 
amid  the  ruins  of  the  ancient  town.  The  desert 
stretches  over  to  the  Dead  Sea,  where  is  Engedi,  or 
the  "  goat's  spring,"  in  the  cliffs  high  above  its  shore. 
To  this  wilderness  David  retired,  and  it  was  in  a 
cave  here  that  he  found  the  sleeping  Saul,  and 
spared  his  life.  To  the  south  rises  the  hill  of 


PETRA  AND  SINAI  445 

Masacla,  1,700  feet  above  the  Dead  Sea,  where  a 
great  fortification  was  built  by  Herod,  in  which, 
after  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem,  the  Jews  offered 
their  final  resistance  to  the  Romans,  and  slew  them- 
selves and  their  families  rather  than  surrender. 
There  still  exist  some  parts  of  Herod's  enclosing 
walls  and  towers,  and  the  summit  gives  a  good  view 
of  the  hilly  region  all  about,  across  the  Dead  Sea  to 
the  mountains  of  Moab,  and  far  away  south  to  Jebel 
Usdum.  This  is  a  ridge  rising  about  600  feet 
above  the  Dead  Sea,  its  base  being  composed  largely 
of  crystallized  salt  in  needle  rocks  and  columns,  one 
of  which  was  traditionally  the  pillar  into  which 
Lot's  wife  was  transformed,  and  which  Josephus 
vouches  for,  though  subsequently  it  fell  into  the  sea. 
Here  was  located  the  city  of  Sodom,  whence  comes 
the  name  of  the  hill  of  Usdum,  near  the  southern 
extremity  of  the  Dead  Sea.  It  is  a  dreary,  inhos- 
pitable region,  over  which  predatory  bands  of  Bed- 
ouins occasionally  roam,  invoking  the  spirit  of  the 
departed  Sheikh  Salih,  whom  they  call  their  an- 
cestor, to  aid  them,  one  of  the  spots  said  to  be  his 
tomb,  and  covered  with  a  heap  of  stones,  being  not 
far  away. 

PETEA    AND    SINAI. 

The  depression  of  the  Ghor,  in  which  are  the 
river  Jordan  and  the  Dead  Sea,  stretches  far  south, 
although  at  a  somewhat  higher  level,  in  the  valley  of 


446  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Arabah,  all  the  way  to  the  northeastern  arm  of  the 
Red  Sea,  the  Gulf  of  Akabah.  Upon  a  terrace  in 
the  high  hills  enclosing  the  eastern  side  of  this  valley 
are  the  ruins  of  the  ancient  capital  of  Petra  in  the 
land  of  Edom,  originally  settled  by  Esau,  which 
under  the  subsequent  Roman  rule  became  the  cap- 
ital of  Arabia  Petrasa.  On  the  edge  of  the  city 
is  the  Jebel  Harun,  elevated  4,360  feet,  which  the 
Crusaders  believed  to  be  Mount  Sinai,  and  they 
built  a  stronghold  on  top  of  the  mountain.  The 
remains  are  largely  of  ancient  tombs,  there  being 
hewn  out  of  the  cliffs  over  seven  hundred  and  fifty, 
many  of  them  very  elaborate ;  and  the  place  entirely 
disappeared  from  history  and  all  known  records, 
until  it  was  accidentally  rediscovered  by  some  Euro- 
peans, who  wandered  thither  over  the  desert,  in  the 
disguise  of  Moslem  pilgrims,  in  the  early  nineteenth 
century.  These  people  defeated  Pompey  62  B.  C., 
but  were  conquered  by  Trajan.  A  temple  of  Isis 
was  erected  by  Hadrian,  in  the  second  century;  a 
theatre  and  baths  were  also  built  and  many  other 
structures,  now  all  in  ruins.  Upon  the  Jebel  Harun 
is  the  tomb  of  Aaron,  from  which  comes  the  name, 
the  Moslems  making  pilgrimages  to  this  shrine, 
where  there  are  some  ruins  of  an  old  time  monastery. 
Ear  to  the  westward,  beyond  the  valley,  extends  the 
Desert  of  Tih,  while  to  the  south,  the  valley  floor  is 
gradually  depressed,  until  it  forms  the  arm  of  the 
Red  Sea  at  Akabah.  This  little  town  is  a  Turkish 


PETRA  AND  SINAI  447 

garrison  post,  where  was  the  Eloth  of  the  book  of 
Kings,  and  while  once  prosperous,  it  fell  into  decay 
long  ago.  The  Turks  now  hold  it  in  a  medieval, 
rectangular  castle,  the  massive  walls  having  a  tower 
at  each  corner.  Near  by  is  the  Jebel  en-Nur,  the 
"  Mountain  of  Light,"  where,  according  to  the 
Arabian  tradition,  Moses  once  conversed  with  the 
Lord. 

We  have  come  into  the  Peninsula  of  Sinai,  the 
triangular  region,  mostly  of  desert,  which  projects 
into  the  Red  Sea  between  its  two  arms,  the  Gulf  of 
Akabah  on  the  east,  and  the  Gulf  of  Suez  on  the 
west.  The  northern  portion  is  the  high  plateau  of 
Tih,  mostly  of  limestone,  and  the  southern  part  in- 
cludes the  granite  formation  of  the  Mount  Sinai 
group,  rising  in  three  summits,  Katherin,  Musa  and 
Serbal.  It  is  an  inhospitable  desert,  with  only 
sparse  bits  that  can  be  cultivated,  and  over  it  wander 
the  nomadic  Bedouin  population,  of  not  over  five 
thousand  all  told,  known  as  the  Toward  or  "  Men  of 
the  Mountain,"  who  claim  a  direct  descent  from  the 
Sheikh  Salih,  the  early  prophet  of  these  wandering 
tribes.  Their  saints  are  Salih  and  Moses,  and  most 
of  them  pay  the  greater  reverence  to  the  former. 
Their  only  paying  trade  is  the  escort  of  pilgrims, 
chiefly  of  the  Greek  faith,  to  the  shrine  on  Mount 
Sinai.  One  of  Salih's  numerous  alleged  tombs  is 
in  a  valley  adjoining  the  northwest  base  of  the  moun- 
tain, and  every  May  they  have  a  festival  at  this 


448  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

tomb,  with  sacrifices,  feasting  and  games,  and  then 
solemnly  climb  to  the  summit  of  the  mountain,  and 
offer  other  sacrifices  to  Moses,  smearing  the  blood 
on  the  door  of  the  mosque.  The  region  is  very 
ancient,  and  as  yet  little  known.  The  Egyptians, 
many  centuries  before  the  Christian  era,  had  mines 
here,  and  over  it,  in  the  Exodus,  wandered  the 
Israelites,  when  Moses  led  them  for  forty  years,  iii 
the  search  for  the  Promised  Land.  Many  monks 
have  lived  here,  and  terrible  have  been  the  massacres 
perpetrated  by  the  Moslems,  at  different  times,  but 
the  Monastery  of  St.  Catharine  has  survived  them  all. 
Much  that  we  know  of  Sinai  is  due  to  the  researches 
of  Professor  Elinders  Petrie,  which  are  still  going 
on. 

A  long  camel  ride,  of  nine  to  twelve  days,  over 
the  desert,  leads  from  Akabah  southwest,  through 
the  wilderness,  to  the  sacred  mountain  and  its 
famous  monastery,  which  is  located  at  an  elevation 
of  about  5,000  feet,  on  the  northeastern  slope  of  the 
Jebel  Musa,  the  "  Hill  of  Moses,"  also  known  as 
Horeb,  the  "  Mount  of  God,"  of  which  the  summit 
rises  7,363  feet.  Justinian,  in  the  sixth  century, 
built  a  fort  here,  to  protect  the  monks,  and  the  mon- 
astery buildings  occupy  its  site.  They  are  an  irreg- 
ular collection  of  structures,  enclosed  within  a  high 
wall.  In  the  early  times  the  shrewd  monks  dis- 
played an  alleged  letter  of  Mohammed  for  their 
protection,  but  in  later  years  they  have  been  under 


PETRA  AND  SINAI  449 

the  guardianship  of  Russia.  There  are  only  about 
thirty  now,  but  formerly  there  were  four  hundred, 
and  offshoots  of  this  Greek  foundation  were  scat- 
tered throughout  the  East.  Their  "  Church  of  the 
Transfiguration "  has  an  impressive  tower,  which 
dominates  the  view.  At  the  back  of  its  apse  is  the 
oldest  portion,  a  very  early  Christian  construction, 
the  "  Chapel  of  the  Burning  Bush,"  said  to  be  built 
on  the  spot  where  God  appeared  to  Moses,  and  vis- 
itors take  off  their  shoes  upon  entering.  A  plate  of 
silver  indicates  the  exact  place,  and  over  it  is  an 
altar,  within  which  three  constantly  burning  lamps 
are  suspended.  There  is  a  mosque  adjoining,  which 
was  built  to  accommodate  the  Moslem  pilgrims; 
while  behind  the  church  is  a  well,  yielding  excellent 
water,  that  the  monks  say  was  the  fountain  where 
Moses  watered  the  flocks  of  his  father-in-law,  Jethro, 
he  marrying  Jethro's  daughter  Zipporah. 

From  the  Monastery,  the  "  Pilgrimage  Steps," 
said  to  number  three  thousand,  and  to  have  been  con- 
structed by  the  Empress  Helena,  mount  the  steep 
slope  of  the  Jebel  Musa.  On  the  way  up,  at  6,900 
feet  elevation,  is  the  stone  chapel  of  Elijah,  having 
in  the  interior  the  cavern  where  the  prophet,  in 
fleeing  from  Jezebel,  concealed  himself  and  heard 
the  Voice  of  the  Lord,  as  referred  to  in  the  book  of 
Kings.  About  a  thousand  of  the  steps  are  between 
this  chapel  and  the  summit,  hewn  out  of  granite 

which  is  at  first  speckled  red,  and  then  is  gray,  green 
VOL.  11—29 


450  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  yellow.  On  the  way,  a  hollow  in  the  granite, 
alongside  the  steps,  is  shown  as  the  footprint  of  the 
camel,  ridden  by  Moses,  in  ascending  the  mountain. 
At  the  top  are  a  small  Greek  chapel  and  the  little 
mosque,  on  the  door  of  which  the  Bedouins  smear 
the  blood  of  their  •  sacrifices.  Beneath  the  mosque 
is  the  grotto,  said  to  be  the  "  cleft  of  the  rock " 
within  which  Moses  was  put,  when  the  glory  of  the 
Lord  passed  by.  Here,  according  to  the  Moslem 
tradition,  is  where  Moses  remained  for  forty  days 
and  nights,  alone  and  fasting,  while  recording  the 
Ten  Commandments.  There  is  a  grand  view  from 
the  mountain  top,  all  around  the  compass,  of  the 
many  peaks  of  this  granitic  wilderness,  and  also  over 
the  larger  portion  of  the  Gulf  of  Akabah,  extending 
southward  to  the  distant  Tiran  Isle,  and  far  away  to 
the  Red  Sea,  at  the  Ras  Muhammed,  the  southern 
termination  of  the  Sinai  peninsula.  Toward  the 
northwest  is  the  Eas  es-Safsaf,  rising  6,540  feet, 
the  "  Mountain  of  the  Willow,"  having  alongside 
its  base  the  venerable  willow  tree  giving  the  name, 
from  which  they  tell  us  that  Moses  cut  his  miraculous 
rod.  Near  it  is  a  refreshing  spring,  where  there  is 
a  dilapidated  chapel,  dedicated  to  the  "  Sacred  Girdle 
of  the  Virgin  Mary."  In  the  valley,  on  the  western 
side  of  the  Jebel  Musa,  and  between  it  and  the 
Safsaf,  is  shown  a  gorge,  where  the  earth  is  said  to 
have  swallowed  the  rebellious  company  of  Korah, 
when  they  defied  Moses,  there  being  a  chasm  in  the 


PETRA  AND  SINAI  451 

adjacent  rock,  that  is  designated  as  the  mould  of 
the  golden  calf,  which  Aaron  made,  and  Moses  broke 
into  pieces,  when  he  descended  from  Sinai.  Also 
in  this  valley,  named  for  Leja,  whom  the  Arabs 
describe  as  a  daughter  of  Jethro,  is  a  mass  of  rock, 
the  Hajar  Musa,  or  "  Stone  of  Moses,"  reputed  to 
be  the  Eock  of  Horeb,  whence  the  spring  issued 
when  the  rock  was  struck  by  Moses.  The  tradition 
is,  that  in  their  protracted  wanderings  through  the 
wilderness  this  rock  accompanied  the  Israelites,  and 
finally  returned  to  its  original  location.  It  is  about 
twelve  feet  high,  of  reddish-brown  granite,  having 
an  oblique  band  of  porphyry  on  the  southern  side,  the 
water  flowing  in  jets  from  holes  in  this  band,  one 
for  each  of  the  twelve  tribes.  Ten  of  the  holes  are 
still  visible. 

Far  in  the  southwest  rises  the  massive  granite 
summit  of  Jebel  Umm  Shomar,  elevated  8,448  feet, 
and  rather  nearer  are  the  Jebel  Zebir  and  the  Jebel 
Katherin,  these  being  the  highest  three  peaks  of  the 
Sinai  peninsula.  The  highest,  the  Jebel  Katherin, 
rises  8,536  feet,  as  the  culminating  summit  of  a  long 
ridge,  and  is  named  for  the  famous  St.  Catherine  of 
Alexandria,  who  was  broken  on  the  wheel,  in  the 
year  307,  by  the  Romans,  her  soul  going  to  heaven 
in  a  vision,  while  her  corpse  was  carried  by  angels 
to  the  tomb  on  the  summit  of  this  mountain.  She 
was  followed,  in  the  transmigration,  by  a  bevy 
of  partridges,  and  in  a  gorge,  on  the  northern 


452  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

slope,  is  shown  the  "  partridges'  well,"  a  spring  that 
was  miraculously  called  forth  for  their  benefit. 
Snow  covers  this  mountain  till  nearly  summer  time, 
and  the  top  is  a  small  plateau,  mostly  occupied  by 
the  rude  chapel  covering  the  tomb.  The  uneven 
floor  is  said  by  the  custodians  to  be  due  to  the  im- 
pression of  the  saint's  body,  which  was  found  here 
about  five  hundred  years  after  her  martyrdom,  the 
rays  of  light  emanating  from  it  attracting  attention 
and  leading  to  the  discovery. 

Prominent  in  the  view,  to  the  west  from  Jebel 
Musa,  is  the  broad  and  serrated  pyramidal  summit 
of  Mount  Serbal,  elevated  6,730  feet,  and  regarded 
by  many  of  the  old  commentators  as  really  the 
Sinai  of  Scripture.  There  are  five  separate  peaks 
on  the  top,  divided  by  deep  chasms,  the  highest 
being  called  the  "  beacon  house,"  and  having  caverns 
in  its  rocky  slopes  which  were  formerly  the 
homes  of  hermits.  There  are  stone  steps,  traces  of 
old  paths,  and  a  circle  of  stones  on  a  lower  terrace, 
made  by  the  original  denizens.  The  northern  out- 
look is  over  the  yellow  Desert  of  Tih,  stretching  far 
away  toward  Petra,  while  to  the  west  is  the  long 
Gulf  of  Suez,  with  the  background  beyond  of 
Egyptian  hills,  between*  it  and  the  valley  of  the 
Mle.  At  the  northwestern  base  of  this  mountain 
is  the  "  Pearl  of  Sinai,"  the  Oasis  of  Firan,  the 
most  fertile  region  of  the  Sinai  peninsula.  This 
was  originally  a  lake,  and  is  watered  by  a  brook 


PETRA  AND  SINAI  453 

that  comes  out  of  a  spring,  and  as  suddenly  disap- 
pears in  the  rock  of  El  Hesweh.  Here  was  the 
Roman  town  of  Pheran,  an  early  seat  of  Chris- 
tianity, and  it  has  many  remains  of  ancient  hermits' 
cells  and  monasteries.  It  was  the  scene  of  the  battle 
of  Rephidim,  between  the  Israelites,  after  they 
crossed  the  Red  Sea,  and  the  Amalekites,  and  on  the 
summit  of  a  rocky  hill,  marked  by  a  ruined  church, 
the  Arabs  say  that  Moses  stood  when  Aaron  and 
Hur  held  up  his  hands  to  secure  victory  in  the  battle. 
In  this  oasis  are  grown  the  tarfa  plants,  which  in 
the  spring  yield  manna.  Very  small  holes  are 
bored,  by  an  insect,  in  the  fine  bark  of  the  twigs, 
and  from  these  minute  openings  exude  transparent 
drops  of  juice,  which  fall  and  harden  on  the  sand, 
this  sweet  gum,  resembling  honey,  being  gathered 
and  sold  to  pilgrims. 

Everywhere  in  this  region,  as  well  as  in  other 
parts  of  the  peninsula,  are  found  the  ancient  Sinaitic 
inscriptions  upon  the  rocks,  and  especially  to  the 
northwest  of  Firan,  where  is  the  "Wadi  Mokattab, 
or  "  Valley  of  Inscriptions,"  generally  carved  on 
blocks  of  sandstone.  These  are  mostly  in  Nabatsean 
;md  Greek  characters,  but  some  are  Coptic  or  Arabic. 
Originally  they  were  thought  to  have  been  made  by 
the  Israelites  during  their  wanderings,  but  the  inves- 
tigations have  proven  them  the  work  of  later  times, 
and  generally  since  the  Christian  era.  They  are 
both  pagan  and  Christian  work.  In  this  district 


454  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  visitor  finds  the  famous  old  mines  of  Maghara, 
originally  opened  by  the  Egyptians.  Here,  in  the 
twenty-fifth  century  B.  C.,  King  Snefru,  the  first 
sovereign  of  the  fourth  Egyptian  dynasty,  carried 
on  mining  operations,  and  they  were  also  conducted 
by  Cheops,  the  builder  of  the  great  pyramid  of 
Gizeh,  and  by  other  kings.  There  is  a  pillar,  dating 
from  Rameses  II  in  the  thirteenth  century  B.  C., 
and  numerous  interesting  inscriptions,  covering  a 
long  period  of  time.  Mafkat  was  the  mineral  ob- 
tained, a  species  of  malachite  that  was  highly  prized. 
Red  and  brown  granite  and  sandstone  slopes  bound 
a  deep  valley,  the  mine  shafts  penetrating  the  rock 
some  distance  above  the  valley  floor.  Remains  of 
the  miners'  settlements,  their  flints  and  tools,  have 
been  found,  and  there  are  also  other  mines  of  mafkat 
elsewhere  in  this  district.  The  route  which  these 
ancient  workmen  took,  to  get  out  to  the  coast  of  the 
Gulf  of  Suez,  crosses  a  mountain  pass,  enclosing  the 
valley,  and  comes  to  the  Ras  Abu  Zenimah  at  the 
coast,  the  tomb  of  a  Moslem  saint,  and  the  place  be- 
lieved to  be  the  "  Reedy  Sea  "  of  the  Bible.  Then 
the  caravan  route  proceeds  northwest  near  the  gulf 
coast.  It  passes  the  hot  saline  springs  in  a  high  hill, 
known  as  the  "  Baths  of  Pharaoh,"  which  reach 
157°  temperature,  where  the  unfortunate  Egyptian 
ruler,  who  harassed  the  Israelites,  is  said  to  be  eter- 
nally boiled  for  his  sins.  The  Arabs  use  the  waters 
as  a  cure  for  rheumatism;  and  when  they  bathe, 


PETRA  AND  SINAI  455 

present  a  cake,  or  other  peace  offering,  to  Pharaoh's 
perturbed  spirit.  Most  of  the  region  beyond  is  a 
desert,  through  which  goes  the  Derb  Farun,  or  the 
"  Road  of  Pharaoh,"  toward  Suez.  In  this  desert, 
rising  on  a  sand  hill,  is  the  bitter  spring  of  Marah, 
mentioned  in  Exodus.  The  little  oasis  of  Ayun 
Musa,  the  "  Springs  of  Moses,"  is  reached,  and  then 
the  monotonous  desert  route  ends  at  the  harbor  of 
Suez. 

The  Gulf  of  Suez,  the  northwest  arm  of  the  Red 
Sea,  was  anciently  called  the  Heroopolite  Gulf,  and 
is  about  one  hundred  and  eighty  miles  long,  extend- 
ing between  the  Sinai  Peninsula  and  Egypt,  its 
average  breadth  being  twenty  miles.  A  short  dis- 
tance below  the  head  of  the  gulf,  at  Suez,  it  ab- 
ruptly narrows  to  about  one-fourth  of  this  width,  and 
here  is  the  place  where  the  Israelites  crossed  over, 
in  their  Exodus  from  Egypt.  They  had  lived  as 
bondmen,  in  the  land  of  Goshen,  in  northeastern 
Egypt,  between  the  Nile  delta  and  the  border  of 
Syria,  at  the  Suez  Isthmus.  Rameses  II,  who  was 
the  greatest  builder  among  the  Pharaohs,  and  was  a 
relentless  taskmaster,  had  used  them  most  harshly 
in  his  operations,  and  they  rebelled  in  the  reign  of 
his  successor,  Meneptah,  and  then,  to  escape  the 
bondage,  made  the  exodus.  The  route  taken  in 
their  flight  has  been  carefully  explored,  and  it  is 
demonstrated  that  Moses  led  them  from  Goshen 
southward  to  Lake  Timsah  and  the  Eed  Sea  border, 


456  THE  MEDITEKRANEAN 

where  the  Gulf  of  Suez  narrows,  and  thus  brought 
them  to  a  restricted  triangular  plain,  bounded  on  the 
north  by  a  range  of  cliffs,  and  on  the  south  by  the 
expansion  of  the  gulf  waters.  The  Egyptians  were 
following  closely  upon  the  fugitives,  who  were  thus 
hemmed  in  between  the  cliffs  and  the  water,  and 
had  no  apparent  way  of  escape.  At  this  place  there 
is  still  a  shallow,  stretching  from  shore  to  shore 
across  the  sea,  which  at  low  tide  is  almost  fordable. 
We  are  told  in  Exodus:  "  The  Lord  caused  the  sea  to 
go  back  by  a  strong  east  wind  all  that  night,  and  made 
the  sea  dry  land,  and  the  waters  were  divided." 
Then  the  east  wind  piled  up  the  waters  toward  the 
head  of  the  gulf,  leaving  the  shallow  dry.  The 
crossing  was  apparently  made  during  the  daylight, 
but  by  nightfall  the  Egyptians  came  up,  and  seeing 
the  passage  still  dry,  attempted  to  cross  in  pursuit, 
and,  the  wind  changing,  the  waters  returned,  the  tide 
rose,  their  chariot  wheels  were  clogged  in  the  quick- 
sands, and  they  were  engulfed. 

THE    SUEZ    CANAL. 

Suez  is  a  low-lying  town,  on  the  border  of  a  sandy 
plain,  where  the  rain  seldom  falls.  It  was  formerly 
a  small,  ill-built,  miserable-looking  village,  but  the 
construction  of  a  railway  to  Cairo,  and  of  the  Suez 
Canal,  revived  it,  and  after  the  opening  of  canal  nav- 
igation, in  November,  1869,  the  population,  which 
had  previously  been  barely  fifteen  hundred, .  ex- 


THE  SUEZ  CANAL  457 

panded,  and  now  approximates  twenty  thousand. 
The  old  town  was  walled  on  the  three  landward  sides, 
but  open  toward  the  sea,  the  people  then  being 
mostly  fishermen.  It  occupies  the  site  of  ancient 
Clysma,  which  became  the  Arabic  Kolzum.  It 
seems  to  have  had  some  prosperity  in  the  earlier 
ages,  when  a  canal  connected  it  with  the  Nile,  but 
this  canal  was  destroyed  in  the  eighth  century,  when 
the  place  fell  into  decay.  The  railroad  terminals, 
dry  docks  and  quays,  where  the  present  Suez  Canal 
conies  out,  are  about  two  miles  south  of  the  older 
town,  at  Port  Ibrahim,  the  upper  portions  of  the 
gulf  being  shallow  at  low  water,  a  stone  pier  carry- 
ing the  railway  over.  A  chalet  of  the  khedive,  on 
higher  ground,  overlooks  the  town  and  harbor.  A 
canal,  bringing  fresh  water  from  the  Nile,  is  con- 
structed alongside  the  ship  canal,  and  the  irrigation 
provided  by  this  has  wrought  a  great  change  in 
recent  years  in  the  desert  around  Suez,  so  that  the 
entire  appearance  of  the  country  is  altered.  The 
town  is  now  full  of  storehouses  and  fine  residences 
of  the  merchants,  and  it  has  a  handsome  Greek 
church. 

The  Isthmus  of  Suez,  at  its  narrowest  part,  from 
the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  Suez  to  the  Gulf  of  Pelusium, 
at  Tineh,  on  the  Mediterranean,  is  about  seventy-two 
miles  wide.  The  canal,  which  converted  Africa 
into  an  island,  is  nearly  one  hundred  miles  long,  be- 
ing constructed  from  Suez  to  Port  Said,  because 


458  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

there  was  deeper  water  there  than  at  Tineh  to  the 
eastward.  This  is  not  the  first  work  of  the  kind  that 
was  constructed  in  this  region,  for  a  canal  from  the 
Nile  to  the  Red  Sea  is  known  to  have  existed  from 
the  sixth  century  B.  C.  to  the  eighth  century  of  the 
present  era,  when  it  became  clogged  from  neglect, 
and  was  destroyed.  Napoleon  also  projected,  when 
in  Egypt,  a  ship  canal  across  the  isthmus,  and  since 
then  various  projects  were  talked  about,  but  it  was 
not  until  1854  that  Said  Pasha,  then  the  Egyptian 
khedive,  granted  to  Ferdinand  de  Lesseps,  the 
French  engineer,  a  concession  for  the  present  canal. 
He  formed  the  French  Canal  Company  in  1858, 
about  half  the  shares  being  taken  in  France,  one- 
quarter  in  Egypt,  and  a  small  interest  in  England, 
where  the  project  was  strongly  opposed  on  account 
of  the  engineering  obstacles.  The  khedive  subse- 
quently obtained  a  larger  interest,  by  purchase  of 
shares,  and  in  November,  1875,  Disraeli,  the  British 
premier,  made  the  master  stroke  of  buying  the 
khedive's  ownership,  which  gave  control  of  the  canal 
to  England,  securing  176,602  shares  for  $20,000,000, 
the  whole  capital  being  400,000  shares.  This  was 
considered  among  the  most  powerful  auxiliaries  ob- 
tained by  England  in  the  mastery  of  the  Mediter- 
ranean and  of  the  route  to  India. 

The  work  of  constructing  the  Suez  Canal  began 
April  25,  1859,  the  estimate  then  being  that  it  could 
be  completed  by  1864  at  a  cost  of  about  $30,000,000. 


THE  SUEZ  CANAL  459 

Large  numbers  of  workmen  were  employed,  of  all  the 
native  races  in  and  near  the  isthmus,  at  one  time 
numbering  eighty  thousand  men.  A  service  canal 
twenty  feet  wide  was  first  excavated  for  part  of  the 
distance,  and  also  the  fresh  water  canal,  from  the 
Nile  at  Bulak  near  Cairo,  as  the  Suez  Isthmus  was 
then  destitute  of  water.  This  canal  reaches  the 
main  ship  canal  at  Ismailia  nearly  midway  between 
the  two  seas.  The  ship  canal  is  about  three-fourths 
an  excavated  canal,  the  remainder  of  the  route  going 
through  natural  lakes  lying  in  the  hollows.  The 
fresh  water  canal  follows  the  line  of  the  ancient 
Egyptian  canal  from  the  Nile,  and  is  about  forty 
feet  wide  and  nine  feet  deep,  being  used  for  navi- 
gation, as  well  as  irrigation.  It  goes  south  to  Suez, 
while  pipes  also  convey  the  fresh  water  north  to  Port 
Said.  The  ship  canal  varies  in  dimensions  at  dif- 
ferent parts,  being  narrowest  where  cuttings  are 
made.  In  one  place  the  cutting  is  ninety  feet  deep, 
through  sandstone  rocks.  The  original  depth  was 
twenty-six  feet,  and  it  has  since  been  deepened  to 
about  thirty-two  feet,  while  it  is  being  widened  to 
over  two  hundred  feet  from  Suez  to  the  Bitter  Lakes, 
and  about  one  hundred  feet  thence  northward  to 
Port  Said.  The  surface  of  the  isthmus,  where 
crossed  by  the  canal,  has  a  general  elevation  of  only 
five  to  eight  feet  above  the  adjoining  seas,  but  several 
ridges  are  higher,  and  extensive  depressions  also 
contain  lakes  and  had  salt  marshes  which  the  canal 


460  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

waters  have  changed  into  lakes.  Excepting  where 
it  has  been  made  fertile  by  irrigation,  the  region  is 
a  barren,  sandy  desert,  the  soil  being  mostly  sand 
and  gravel,  underlaid  with  sandstones  and  varieties 
of  limestone,  with  fossil  remains  and  shells.  It  is 
probable  that  the  whole  isthmus  was  once  under 
water,  the  two  seas  then  being  here  connected.  They 
are  now  very  nearly  at  the  same  surface  level,  the 
Red  Sea  being  but  six  inches  higher  on  the  average 
than  the  Mediterranean.  Much  of  the  canal  is  em- 
banked and  partly  encased  with  stone.  Since  its 
construction,  the  climate  has  undergone  considerable 
amelioration,  the  temperature  having  become  lower 
in  summer  and  higher  in  winter,  this  change  being 
attributed  to  the  infiltration  of  water,  and  to  the 
vegetation  which  has  thus  sprung  up  along  the  banks 
and  been  established  by  irrigation. 

The  terminal  works  at  the  canal  entrance,  near 
Suez,  include  two  huge  dry  docks  and  a  protective 
mole,  nearly  twenty-six  hundred  feet  long,  making 
the  harbor  of  Port  Ibrahim.  From  here,  the  canal, 
in  a  generally  northerly  course,  goes  seventeen  miles 
through  a  sandy  desert  to  the  Bitter  Lakes,  thus 
named  from  their  brackish  waters.  These  were 
about  dried  up,  but  the  canal  availing  of  their  beds 
for  its  channel,  they  have  since  been  filled  with  sea 
water.  The  canal  goes  for  twenty  miles  through  the 
Little  and  Great  Bitter  Lakes,  and  then  for  about 
nine  miles  further  through  rock  cuttings  much  of 


THE  SUEZ  CANAL  461 

the  way,  to  Lake  Timsah,  its  route  following  closely 
that  of  the  ancient  Egyptian  canal.  Timsah,  for- 
merly dried  up,  but  now  filled  with  sea  water,  makes 
an  excellent  anchorage,  and  on  its  western  shore, 
forty-four  miles  from  Suez,  is  the  port  of  Ismailia, 
named  for  Ismail  Pasha.  Here  the  fresh  water 
canal  comes  over  from  the  Nile,  and  the  levels  of 
the  two  canals  being  different,  they  are  joined  by 
locks.  This  place  has  grown  entirely  from  the  canal 
traffic,  and  it  has  railway  connections  with  Cairo  and 
Alexandria.  Timsah  is  the  Crocodile  Lake,  but  there 
are  no  crocodiles  in  it,  though  their  fossil  teeth  are 
found  in  neighboring  rocks.  The  khedive  has  a 
decaying  summer  house  on  the  shore,  now  used  by  the 
canal  officials,  and  the  Jebel  Maryam  rises  in  the  dis- 
tance, being  named  for  the  prophetess  Miriam,  the 
sister  of  Moses.  The  canal  has  an  almost  straight 
northern  course,  from  Timsah  to  Port  Said,  and  just 
north  of  the  lake  is  the  highest  surface  and  heaviest 
cutting  on  the  line,  the  banks  rising  seventy  to  ninety 
feet  high.  The  Ballah  Lakes  are  nine  miles  from 
Timsah,  and  it  goes  for  eight  miles  through  them,  by 
a  channel  that  has  been  dredged  and  embanked.  A 
three  mile  sand  strip  is  then  crossed  to  the  spacious 
Lake  Menzaleh,  through  which  the  route  is  con- 
structed for  about  twenty-four  miles.  This  lagoon 
spreads  far  westward  toward  the  Nile  delta,  and 
northward  to  the  Mediterranean,  the  canal  conducted 
along  its  eastern  margin  being  confined  between 


462  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

embankments,  and  the  lake  waters  not  admitted,  the 
lake  depth  varying  from  twenty-five  to  thirty  feet. 
Just  north  of  this  lagoon  is  the  terminal  harbor  at 
Port  Said.  There  are  widened  basins  at  intervals 
along  the  canal  route  to  allow  vessels  to  pass,  and 
a  speed  of  five  to  six  knots  an  hour  is  permitted,  ex- 
cepting in  the  Bitter  Lakes,  where  steamers  may 
move  at  full  speed. 

Port  Said  is  upon  the  low-lying  easternmost  point 
of  an  island,  between  Lake  Menzaleh  and  the  Med- 
iterranean, one  hundred  and  ten  miles  north-north- 
east of  Cairo,  a  modern  town  spreading  around  a 
pleasant  square,  with  regularly  laid  out  streets,  and 
mostly  wooden  houses,  built  on  the  sands  and  the 
mud  excavated  from  the  canal.  It  was  named  for 
Said  Pasha,  the  viceroy,  and  has  about  fifty  thou- 
sand people.  The  harbor  embraces  nearly  a  square 
mile,  contained  between  two  concrete  moles,  respec- 
tively 5,300  feet  and  7,400  feet  long,  the  latter  on 
the  western  side,  and  slanting  considerably  toward 
the  eastern  one,  thus  giving  full  protection  from  the 
sea  waves  for  the  canal  entrance,  which  is  marked 
by  a  colossal  statue  of  De  Lesseps  and  a  fountain 
and  statue  of  Queen  Victoria.  A  great  electric  light 
is  .placed  in  a  tower,  173  feet  high,  and  can  be  seen 
twenty  miles  at  sea.  The  Suez  Canal  cost  about 
$100,000,000,  and  is  very  expensive  to  maintain, 
there  being  $1,400,000  expended  annually  for  dredg- 
ing, etc.  Powerful  dredges  are  constantly  at  work, 


THE  SUEZ  CANAL  463 

lifting  out  the  sand  that  silts  into  the  channel.  This 
process  has  widened,  deepened  and  also  straightened 
its  course.  Shipping  began  freely  passing  through 
in  1870,  and  during  that  year  486  ships  went 
through,  with  654,915  tonnage  and  paying  $1,032,- 
000  tolls.  The  first  vessel  passing  was  the 
ship  Brazilian,  of  1,809  tons,  which  started  through 
November  27,  1869,  and  the  opening  of  the  canal 
reduced  the  length  of  her  voyage  from  England  to 
the  Indies  to  about  7,500  miles,  the  route  around 
Africa  being  11,600  miles.  Since  March,  1887, 
traffic  has  been  conducted  at  night,  the  shipping 
taking  aboard  electric  lighting  apparatus  for  the  pur- 
pose, and  a  vessel,  under  normal  conditions,  passing 
in  twenty  hours,  while  the  usual  daylight  course  is 
accomplished  in  thirteen  hours.  In  1905,  4,116 
vessels  passed  through,  having  13,134,105  tonnage, 
and  paying  $23,461,639  tolls,  and  in  that  year  the 
canal  expenditures  were  $8,196,836.  In  1907, 
4,267  vessels,  with  14,728,434  tonnage  went  through, 
and  in  1908,  3,727  vessels  with  11,357,179  tonnage. 
There  is  a  toll  charged  of  7%  francs  for  each  ton, 
and  ten  francs  for  each  passenger.  In  some  cases 
the  tolls,  pilotage  and  other  charges,  for  a 
very  large  steamer,  will  reach  $20,000.  The  most 
expensive  passage  made  by  any  vessel  was  by  the 
United  States  Drydock  Dewey,  towed  through  on 
the  way  to  the  Philippines,  the  cost  being  about 
$23,000,  of  which  about  $2,900  was  paid  for  damage 


464  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

done  by  the  big  drydock  bumping  into  and  destroy- 
ing beacons  and  buoys.  She  was  almost  as  wide 
as  the  narrower  portions  of  the  canal,  and  delayed 
traffic  all  one  night,  owing  to  high  winds  requiring 
her  to  stop  and  rest  against  the  leeward  bank.  When 
the  American  fleet  of  battleships,  coming  home  from 
their  tour  around  the  world,  passed  through  the  canal 
early  in  January,  1909,  the  tolls  were  $133,000.  The 
success  of  the  Suez  Canal  has  greatly  inspired  the 
work  of  constructing  the  more  expensive  and  difficult 
Panama  Canal  through  the  American  Continent. 

Throughout  this  region  of  sand  and  heat  at  Suez, 
and  around  the  head  of  the  Red  Sea,  there  is  a 
mournful  desolation,  excepting  where  the  modern 
irrigation  systems  have  produced  some  plant  life  and 
luxuriant  vegetation.  Its  great  memory  is  of  the 
sufferings  and  wanderings  of  the  children,  of  Israel, 
and  of  the  ten  plagues  which  the  Lord  inflicted  upon 
the  Egyptians,  to  constrain  Pharaoh  to  let  the 
Israelites  depart  out  of  the  land  of  bondage,  ending 
with  the  destruction  of  the  first  born.  One  of  the 
most  terrible  of  these  was  the  seventh  plague,  the 
thunder  and  hail  and  fire,  which  afflicted  all  Egypt, 
excepting  the  land  of  Goshen,  the  home  of  the 
Israelites.  We  are  told  in  Exodus  that  the  Lord 
said  to  Moses:  "Stretch  forth  thine  hand  toward 
Heaven,  that  there  may  be  hail  in  all  the  land  of 
Egypt,  upon  man  and  upon  beast,  and  upon  every 
herb  of  the  field  throughout  the  land  of  Egypt. 


THE  SUEZ  CANAL  465 

And  Moses  stretched  forth  his  rod  toward  Heaven: 
and  the  Lord  sent  thunder  and  hail ;  and  the  fire  ran 
along  upon  the  ground;  and  the  Lord  rained  hail 
upon  the  land  of  Egypt."  So  grievous  was  the 
affliction  that  Pharaoh  relented,  sending  for  Moses 
and  Aaron,  declaring  he  had  sinned  and  would  let 
the  people  go,  and  asking  them  to  entreat  the  Lord 
to  stay  the  plague.  This  Moses  did,  but  when  the 
rain  and  hail  and  thunder  had  ceased,  his  heart  was 
again  hardened,  and  he  would  not  let  the  children 
of  Israel  depart.  This  terrible  plague  is  admirably 
described  by  George  Croly,  the  Irish  author  and  poet. 
It  finally  subdued  the  stubborn  Pharaoh,  and  then  — 

Humbled  before  the  prophet's  knee, 
He  groaned,  "Be  injured  Israel  free!" 
To  Heaven  the  sage  upraised  his  hand: 
Back  rolled  the  deluge  from  the  land; 
Back  to  its  caverns  sank  the  gale; 
Fled  from  the  moon  the  vapors  pale; 
Broad  burnt  again  the  joyous  sun: 
The  hour  of  wrath  and  death  was  done. 


VOL.  11—30 


THE  LAND  OF  THE  PHARAOHS 


XIV 
THE  LAND  OF  THE  PHARAOHS 

The  River  Nile — Its  Sources — Its  Long  Valley — The  Delta — 
The  Inundations — The  Mouths — Land  of  Goshen — Damietta 
— Sais — Rosetta — Alexandria — Aboukir — Queen  Cleopatra — 
The  Pharaohs  and  Their  Gods — Menes — Ptah — Ammon-Ra 
— Osiris — Isis — Horus — The  Sacred  Bull  Apis — Zeser — 
Snefru — Cheops,  Chephren  and  Menkaura — Usertesen — Ame- 
nemhat — Aahmes — Amenhotep — Thothmes — Queen  Hatasu — 
Sethos — Rameses — Meneptah — Sesostris — the  Hebrew  Ex- 
odus— Cambyses  Nectanebo — Alexander — the  Ptolemies — 
Amru — Mehemet  Ali — Johar — Cairo — Helouan — Shoobra — 
Heliopolis — the  Barrage — the  Pyramids — the  Sphynx. 

THE    RIVER    NILE. 

I  am  a  river  flowing  from  God's  sea 

Through  devious  ways.     He  mapped  my  course  for  me; 

I  cannot  change  it;   mine  alone  the  toil 

To  keep  the  waters  free  from  grime  and  soil. 

The  winding  river  ends  where  it  began; 

And  when  my  life  has  compassed  its  brief  span 

I  must  return  to  that  mysterious  source. 

So  let  me  gather  daily  on  my  course 

The  perfume  from  the  blossoms  as  I  pass, 

Balm  from  the  pines  and  healing  from  the  grass, 

And  carry  down  my  current  as  I  go 

Not   common  stones,   but  precious   gems  to  show; 

And  tears  —  the  holy  water  from  sad  eyes  — 

Back  to  God's  sea,  from   which  all  rivers  rise; 

Let  me  convey  —  not  blood  from  wounded  hearts, 

469 


470  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Nor  poison  which  the  upas-tree  imparts  — 

When  over  flowery  vales  I  leap  with  joy, 

Let  me  not  devastate  them,  nor  destroy, 

But  rather  leave  them  fairer  to  the  sight. 

Mine  be  the  lot  to  comfort  and  delight, 

And  if  down  awful  chasms  I  needs  must  leap, 

Let  me  not  murmur  at  my  lot,  but  sweep 

On  bravely  to  the  end  without  one  fear, 

Knowing  that  He  who  planned  my  ways  stands  near. 

Love  sent  me  forth,  to  Love  I  go  again, 

For  Love  is  all  and  over  all.     Amen! 

Thus  sings  Ella  Wheeler  Wilcox  of  a  great  river. 
It  has  long  been  realized  that  the  river  Nile  is  Egypt. 
It  not  only  waters  all  the  crop-producing  soil,  which 
makes  habitable  Egypt,  but  that  soil  has  been  brought 
down  by  the  river  during  successive  ages  from  in- 
terior Africa,  and  is  annually  fertilized  by  fresh 
deposits  from  the  regular  freshets.  The  Egypt 
spreading  over  about  400,000  square  miles,  on  the 
map,  is  mostly  a  barren  desert,  the  inhabited 
region  being  condensed  into  barely  13,000  square 
miles  of  the  river  valley  and  delta.  The  control  of 
Egypt  is  therefore  merged  in  the  successful  control  of 
the  Nile,  that  its  valuable  sediment  may  be  fully 
utilized  and  none  wasted  in  the  sea,  and  this  control 
is  held  by  England.  Egypt  is  nominally  tributary 
to  the  Turkish  sultan,  but  his  domination  is  very 
shadowy,  through  the  Khedive  Abbas  Hilmi,  succeed- 
ing in  1892,  who  is  practically  but  a  figure-head, 
owing  to  the  intervention  of  England,  sought  in  1882, 
for  subduing  Arabi  Pasha's  rebellion.  He  was  the 


Fishing  Boats  on  a  Branch  of  the  Nile. 


THE  RIVER  NILE  471 

war  minister  of  the  then  khedive,  Mohammed 
Tewfik,  father  of  Abbas,  and  led  the  army  in  mutiny, 
and  an  uprising  against  the  Christians.  The 
British  fleet  bombarded  Alexandria,  in  the  summer 
of  1882,  and  on  September  13th  their  troops  de- 
feated Arabi  in  the  battle  of  Tel  el  Kebir, 
occupying  Cairo  and  capturing  Arabi,  who  was  sent 
an  exile  to  Ceylon.  This  began  the  British  occupa- 
tion and  control  of  Egypt  and  the  Sinai  Peninsula, 
which  continued  under  the  admirable  management  of 
Evelyn  Baring,  Lord  Cromer,  who  retired  in  1907, 
after  nearly  fifty  years'  service  for  his  country,  in 
various  positions,  more  than  half  of  it  being  devoted 
to  Egyptian  rehabilitation,  where  he  held  the  posts  of 
British  agent  and  consul  general.  The  Egyptian 
population  is  about  11,200,000,  most  of  whom  are 
engaged  in  agriculture. 

The  American  traveller  and  author,  Edwin  James 
Cattell,  significantly  describes  Egypt  as  "  a  flat- 
headed  green  snake  crawling  along  a  sandy  road." 
The  broad  and  low-lying  Kile  delta  is  the  head  of  this 
serpent,  fronting  the  Mediterranean  for  over  a  hun- 
dred and  fifty  miles,  and  narrowing  into  the  neck,  at 
Cairo,  about  a  hundred  and  thirty  miles  inland. 
Thence  the  serpent's  body  stretches  southward  eight 
hundred  and  fifty  miles  to  Wady  Haifa,  the  southern 
border  of  Egypt  and  Nubia,  the  Kile  valley  averaging 
ten  miles  width.  The  great  delta  is  Lower  Egypt  and 
the  long  valley  Upper  Egypt.  The  Kile  was  the 


472  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Hope  or  Aur-Aa  of  the  ancient  Egyptians,  meaning 
the  "  Great  River,"  and  the  Sihar  of  the  Hebrews. 
It  is  about  four  thousand  miles  long,  draining  a  basin 
of  nearly  1,100,000  square  miles,  extending  through 
thirty-five  degrees  of  latitude,  and  the  distance  from 
the  source  to  the  sea,  in  a  direct  line,  is  2,450  miles. 
The  White  Nile,  or,  in  the  Arabic,  the  Bahr-el-Abiad, 
flows  from  the  lakes  of  equatorial  Africa,  and  is 
joined  at  Khartoum  by  the  Blue  Nile,  or  Bahr-el- 
Azrdk,  coming  out  of  the  Abyssinian  mountains. 
Egypt  was  called  Aiguptos  by  the  Greeks,  Misraim 
by  the  Hebrews,  and  Misr  by  the  Arabs,  and  in  the 
Egyptian  hieroglyphics  is  Kemi,  or  the  "  black 
land."  The  Nile,  in  times  of  overflow,  is  a  reddish 
brown  color,  and  the  ordinary  current  flows  about 
three  miles  an  hour. 

The  famous  Victoria  Nyanza  —  the  "  Great 
Water,"  next  to  Lake  Superior  the  largest  fresh 
water  lake  in  the  world,  is  the  source  of  the  Nile. 
It  is  directly  under  the  equator,  at  3,900  feet  eleva- 
tion, and  covers  27,000  square  miles.  The  parallel 
of  1°  south  latitude,  crossing  it,  is  the  dividing  line 
between  German  East  Africa,  to  the  southward,  and 
British  East  Africa,  to  the  northward.  First  discov- 
ered by  Speke,  in  1858,  a  long  period  elapsed  before 
it  was  known  that  the  waters  went  out  to  the  Nile. 
There  are  several  feeders  to  this  great  lake,  the  larg- 
est being  the  Kagera,  formed  by  three  tributaries,  of 
which  the  chief  is  the  Nyavarango,  rising  about  2° 


THE  RIVER  NILE  473 

30'  south  latitude,  at  an  altitude  of  7,000  feet.  The 
Kagera  flows  into  Victoria  !Nyanza,  through  a 
spacious  delta.  The  other  Xyanzas  are  at  a  lower 
level  than  Victoria;  Albert  Nyanza,  about  eighty 
miles  northwest,  being  at  2,500  feet  elevation,  and 
covering  2,000  square  miles,  and  Albert  Edward 
Kyanza,  just  south  of  the  equator,  extending  over 
1,500  square  miles  at  3,307  feet  elevation,  and  drain- 
ing into  Albert  Isyanza,  through  Samliki  River,  about 
130  miles  long. 

The  great  river  flowing  out  of  the  Victoria 
Kyanza,  before  it  was  known  to  be  the  Nile,  was 
called  the  Kari  or  Somerset  River.  It  expands  into 
Lake  Ibrahim  Pasha,  goes  down  successive  falls, 
and  enters  the  Albert  Kyanza  at  Magungo.  The 
exit  stream  descends  a  series  of  cataracts  and  comes 
to  Gondokoro  at  5°  !N\,  this  portion  of  the  river  hav- 
ing been  first  explored  by  General  Gordon  in  1876. 
At  9°  X.  it  receives  its  most  important  tributary, 
on  the  west  side,  the  Bahr-el-Ghezal,  then  turns  east 
for  about  one  hundred  miles,  receives  the  Sobat, 
coming  from  the  southeast,  and  flows  north  to  Khar- 
toum, being  there  joined  by  the  Blue  Nile,  on  its 
eastern  side.  The  united  Nile  then  takes  its  course 
toward  the  northeast,  and  receives  its  last  tributary, 
the  Atbara,  from  the  Abyssinian  frontier.  It  flows 
northward  through  the  desert,  forms  various  islands, 
goes  down  rapids,  and  descends  the  second  or  Great 
Cataract  at  Batn-el-Hajar,  the  "  Glen  of  Rocks/' 


474  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

entering  Egypt  proper  at  Philae,  the  Pi-lakh  or 
"  limit "  of  the  Egyptians,  where  the  river  flows 
down  the  first  or  lowest  cataract,  at  Syene  or 
Assouan,  24°  5'  N.  From  the  foot  of  this  cataract, 
the  Nile  has  its  course  northward  through  Egypt, 
unbroken  by  falls  or  rapids,  and  without  a  tributary 
of  any  kind,  until  it  reaches  the  Mediterranean.  It 
is  a  single  stream  to  Batn-el-Bakara,  the  ancient 
Carcasorum,  at  the  head  of  the  delta,  just  below 
Cairo,  in  latitude  30°  15'  ~N.  From  the  cataracts 
northward,  the  river,  with  a  general  breadth  of 
about  a  half-mile,  runs  for  six  hundred  miles 
through  a  valley  bounded  by  hills  varying  in  height 
from  300  to  1,200  feet.  These  hills  disappear  a  hun- 
dred miles  from  the  sea,  and  the  river  enters  an  ex- 
tensive and  perfectly  level  alluvial  plain,  where  at 
twelve  miles  below  and  north  of  Cairo  it  separates 
into  two  great  streams  which  continually  diverge  to- 
ward the  northwest  and  northeast,  until  they  reach 
the  sea  at  31°  35'  N".,  by  mouths  that  are  eighty  miles 
apart,  the  eastern  branch  at  Dumyat  (Damietta),  and 
the  western  at  Rashid  (Rosetta).  This  is  the  great 
plain  of  Lower  Egypt,  a  rich,  triangular  and  per- 
fectly flat  delta,  fronting  over  one  hundred  and  fifty 
miles  upon  the  Mediterranean,  and  extending  inland 
about  ninety  miles.  The  alluvial  deposits  of  the  Xile 
cover  all  this  plain  to  a'  depth  of  thirty  or  forty 
feet,  and  make  unsurpassed  fertility,  while  the  sea 
front  is  a  series  of  extensive  lagoons. 


THE  RIVER  NILE  475 

So  dependent  were  the  ancient  Egyptians  upon  the 
Nile  that  it  can  readily  be  understood  how  they 
gave  the  river  divine  honors.  It  was  represented 
by  a  figure,  having  a  beard  and  woman's  breasts, 
with  a  blue  skin.  At  Nilopolis  there  was  a  temple 
dedicated  to  this  god,  and  the  principal  festival  was 
called  Niloa.  In  the  ancient  Greek  and  Roman  art 
the  Nile  was  depicted  as  a  reclining  river  god,  around 
whom  sixteen  children  were  playing,  in  allegorical 
representation  of  the  height  in  cubits  reached  by  the 
annual  inundation.  Rain  rarely  falls  in  the  Kile 
valley,  between  18°  and  30'  N.,  and  only  very  scantily 
lower  down,  so  that  the  river  gets  its  water  supply 
entirely  from  the  elevated  lake  and  mountain  regions 
which  are  its  sources.  In  Egypt  the  current  begins 
increasing  in  volume  in  June,  rises  steadily  and 
reaches  its  greatest  height  in  October,  and  then 
gradually  subsides,  the  ordinary  rise  at  Cairo  being 
twenty-five  feet.  During  the  period  of  flood  the 
greater  portion  of  the  long  valley  and  of  the  delta, 
is  inundated.  In  early  times  the  volume  of  the 
river  was  larger,  and  the  floods  rose  much  higher, 
as  shown  by  the  alluvial  deposits,  in  places  no 
longer  reached  by  even  the  highest  inundations. 
Four  thousand  years  ago,  as  attested  by  the  old 
inscriptions,  the  average  rise  of  the  flood  was  twenty- 
three  feet  higher  than  now.  At  the  same  time,  the 
annual  deposits  of  the  inundations  continually  raise 
the  surface  level  of  the  entire  surrounding  valley. 


476  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  great  dams  constructed  in  the  river,  at  Assouan, 
Assiout,  and  below  Cairo,  now  control  the  Nile, 
making  it  a  reservoir,  and  regulating  the  discharge  of 
the  waters,  so  that  extensive  tracts  yield  two  crops 
a  year  instead  of  one,  and  large  waste  districts  have 
been  brought  under  tillage,  greatly  increasing  the 
growth  of  sugar,  cotton  and  other  products.  The 
estimate  is  that  the  Nile  supplies  every  year  a 
thousand  millions  of  cubic  metres  of  water,  and  the 
additional  fertility  has  increased  Egypt's  foreign 
trade  to  $280,000,000  a  year,  including  over  $130,- 
000,000  worth  of  cotton  seed  and  raw  cotton.  The 
cotton  crop  has  exceeded  700,000,000  pounds  in 
one  year,  and  for  1909-10  was  estimated  at  545,- 
000,000  pounds.  It  includes  the  famous  yellow- 
tinted,  long-fibre  staple,  the  choicest  of  all  cottons, 
which,  from  its  natural  color,  imparts  the  prized 
tawny  tint  to  hosiery  and  underwear.  This  cotton 
is  a  cash  article,  and  Alexandria  is  the  cotton- 
financing  centre  of  Egypt.  The  delta  is  the  great 
cotton,  rice,  grain  and  sugar  producing  region,  the 
large  barrage,  or  dam,  below  Cairo,  regulating  the 
distribution  of  the  Nile  waters  throughout  the  vast 
and  fertile  plain,  while  the  newer  dam  at  Assouan 
is  bringing  the  upper  Egypt  valley  under  similar 
beneficent  crop  conditions. 

When  the  Nile  anciently  brought  down  so  much 
greater  volume  of  water  than  now,  instead  of  two 
river  mouths  in  the  delta  there  were  seven,  and  from 


THE  RIVER  NILE  477 

this  circumstance  the  river  was  called  Septemgem- 
inus.  The  easternmost  of  these  mouths  was  the 
Pelusiac,  which  emptied  into  the  bay  of  Pelusiam, 
east  of  Port  Said,  at  the  narrowest  part  of  the  isthmus 
of  Suez.  It  was  here  that  was  located  the  great 
Serbonian  Bog,  and  in  this  region  Cambyses  de- 
feated the  Egyptians,  and  Pompey  was  killed,  at 
the  little  hill  known  as  Mount  Casius.  To  the  west- 
ward is  the  partly  dried  up  Lake  Menzaleh,  where 
in  the  days  of  the  full-flowing  Nile  two  branches 
emptied,  the  Tanitic  and  Mendesian.  These  three 
branches  long  ago  ceased  flowing,  and  near  the 
western  shore  of  Lake  Menzaleh  comes  out  the 
present  Damietta  branch,  the  ancient  Phathmetic 
mouth.  This  was  in  the  land  of  Goshen,  of  the 
Israelites,  where  was  ancient  Tanis  or  Zoon,  the  old 
capital  of  the  Hyksos,  or  Shepherd  Kings,  and  after- 
ward a  stronghold  of  Rameses  and  his  survivors, 
who  oppressed  the  Jews  and  caused  their  exodus 
across  the  Red  Sea  into  Sinai.  There  are  various 
ruins  in  this  district.  The  Burlas  lagoon  is  farther 
west,  and  here  emptied  the  Sebeunytic  mouth,  long 
since  closed.  The  Bolbitine  is  now  the  Rosetta 
branch,  and  still  farther  westward  was  the  Canopic, 
emptying  into  Aboukir  Bay. 

A  half  dozen  miles  up  the  present  eastern  branch 
of  the  -  Nile  is  Damietta,  which  anciently  was 
Tameathis,  and  is  now  an  old  and  decayed  town 
of  thirty  thousand  population,  about  a  hundred  mile? 


4:78  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

northeast  of  Cairo,  with,  however,  some  fine  dwell- 
ings of  the  merchants,  built  on  terraces  near  the 
river,  and  a  few  attractive  mosques  and  bazaars. 
Lake  Menzaleh  gives  it  a  supply  of  fish,  that  are 
idried  and  salted  for  trade  with  the  interior,  but  the 
bar  at  the  mouth  of  the  river  renders  the  harbor 
inaccessible  to  large  vessels.  It  also  has  rice  and 
cotton  mills,  and  the  story  is  that  the  name  of 
"  dimity  "  is  derived  from  this  town.  The  ancient 
city  was  nearer  the  sea,  and  it  rose  to  importance 
under  the  Saracen  rule,  while  the  Crusaders,  regard- 
ing it  as  the  great  Egyptian  stronghold  on  the 
Mediterranean,  made  repeated  attacks,  and  in  one 
of  the  sieges  it  was  captured,  in  1249,  by  the  French 
king  Louis  IX.  Unfortunately,  however,  the 
victorious  Louis  was  soon  afterward  taken  by  the 
Arabs,  and  could  only  purchase  his  freedom,  by 
restoring  the  city.  Then,  because  of  its  exposed 
position,  the  Egyptian  sultan  destroyed  the  old  city, 
and  established  the  present  Damietta,  farther  inland, 
blocking  up  the  mouth  of  the  Nile,  so  that  enemies 
could  not  approach  from  the  sea.  Far  away,  in 
all  directions,  spread  the  fertile  lowlands  of  the 
delta,  intersected  by  irrigation  canals,  and  produc- 
ing bountiful  crops,  so  prolific  indeed  that  the  lands 
are  valued  at  $500  or  more  per  acre.  This  was  one 
of  the  most  populous  districts  of  ancient  Egypt,  and 
still  is  well  peopled.  In  the  interior  is  the  cotton 
centre,  Mansourah,  in  an  unhealthy  situation,  having 


THE  RIVER  NILE  479 

thirty-six  thousand  population;  also  Samanbord, 
near  the  ancient  mounds  of  Bahbeyt,  where  there 
was  a  Temple  of  Isis;  and  Tantah  with  about  sixty 
thousand  people.  Near  the  Eosetta,  or  western 
branch  of  the  Nile,  is  Sa-al-Hazar,  the  old-time  Sais, 
the  burial  place  of  many  Egyptian  kings,  and  a 
venerable  seat  of  learning  in  the  time  of  the 
pharaohs,  whence,  as  we  are  told,  the  famous 
Cecrops  migrated  to  found  Athens. 

The  town  of  Rosetta  is  located  among  unhealthy 
marshes,  just  within  the  mouth  of  the  Rosetta  branch, 
and  is  known  to  the  Arabs  as  Rashad,  having  about 
seventeen  thousand  population.  The  original  Egyp- 
tian Bolbitine  was  nearly  two  miles  further  inland 
from  the  sea.  Despite  its  decaying  houses,  the 
beautiful  gardens  give  Rosetta  an  attractive  appear- 
ance, but  the  port  is  poor,  the  shifting  sand  bar  at 
the  river's  mouth  making  it  difficult  of  entrance.  Its 
chief  modern  fame  comes  from  the  discovery,  in 
1799,  of  the  "Rosetta  Stone"  now  in  the  British 
Museum,  which  furnished  the  first  key  to  deciphering 
the  Egyptian  hieroglyphics.  During  Napoleon's 
occupation,  M.  Boussard,  officer  of  engineers  in  his 
army,  found  this  stone,  when  excavating  the  trenches 
of  Fort  St.  Julian  near  Rosetta,  and  three  years 
afterward  it  was  taken  to  England.  It  is  a  slab  of 
black  basalt,  about  S1/^  by  2%  feet,  and  nearly  one 
foot  thick,  and  was  erected  195  B.  C.,  by  Egyptian 
priests,  in  honor  of  Ptolemy  Epiphanes,  in  com- 


480  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

memoration  of  his  services  to  the  country.  It 
recites  these  benefits,  and  decrees  that  the  king's 
statue  shall  be  placed  in  every  temple,  and  divine 
honors  paid  him.  The  inscriptions  are  repeated  in 
three  languages  —  Greek,  the  sacred  hieroglyphics, 
and  the  Demotic  or  common  Egyptian  characters. 
Thus  were  given,  side  by  side,  two  long  Egyptian 
texts,  as  well  as  a  translation  in  Greek,  enabling  the 
scholars  to  gain  a  knowledge  of  the  long-lost  tongues 
of  ancient  Egypt  and  decipher  the  hieroglyphics 
that  are  everywhere  found. 

ALEXANDBIA. 

The  visitor  to  Egypt  usually  comes  over  the 
Mediterranean  by  steamer  to  Alexandria,  entering 
the  old  harbor  on  the  low-lying  coast  through  a 
narrow  waterway  600  feet  wide,  between  the  long 
stone  protective  breakwaters,  recently  constructed, 
and  admiring  the  wonderful  coloring  of  the  sea,  in 
the  morning  sunlight.  £Tear  the  ship,  the  surface 
sparkles  in  azure  and  olive,  with  variations  of 
emerald  and  sapphire,  while  the  more  distant  waves, 
beyond  the  breakwater,  are  tinted  with  purple  and 
violet.  A  swarm  of  rowboats  surround  the  arriv- 
ing vessel,  and  the  bare-legged  boatmen,  clad  in 
comic  opera  costumes,  with  complexions  varying 
from  black  to  light  yellow,  contend  vigorously  for 
the  possession  of  passengers  and  luggage.  When 
landed,  a  horde  of  beggars  and  peddlers  is  en- 


ALEXANDRIA  481 

countered,  but  the  black  Nubian  soldiers,  in  blue 
uniforms,  who  are  on  guard  at  the  railway  dock, 
drive  them  off,  by  snapping  long  whips  at  their 
bare  legs.  Some  travellers  halt  in. Alexandria  for  a 
short  sojourn,  but  most  of  them  at  once  start  on 
the  railway  ride  of  one  hundred  and  thirty  miles 
over  the  monotonous  delta  to  the  national  capital, 
Cairo,  and  the  pyramids.  Alexandria  is  the  chief 
port  of  Egypt,  and  near  the  harbor  formerly  were 
the  two  Cleopatra's  Needles,  obelisks  about  sixty- 
six  feet  high,  originally  brought  from  Heliopolis. 
One,  which  was  lying  on  the  ground,  was  presented 
to  England,  and  is  on  the  Thames  embankment  in 
London,  while  the  other,  which  stood  erect,  was  given 
to  New  York  and  is  now  in  Central  Park. 

Alexandria  is  the  famous  city  founded  by  Alex- 
ander the  Great,  332  B.  C.,  when  he  had  destroyed 
Tyre,  its  site  being  at  the  entrance  of  the  Canopic 
branch  of  the  Nile,  long  ago  practically  closed  up. 
The  original  city  plan  embraced  two  main  streets, 
crossing  at  right  angles  in  the  centre,  each  being  one 
hundred  feet  wide,  one  stretching  from  north  to 
south,  and  the  other  from  east  to  west.  There  was 
an  outlying  island,  Pharos,  upon  which  the  first 
known  lighthouse  was  built,  of  great  height,  as  a 
guide  to  the  mariner,  and  the  island  was  connected 
with  the  mainland  by  a  dyke,  that  divided  the  inner 
from  the  outer  harbor,  the  vessels  passing  through 

a  channel  crossed  by  movable  bridges.     The  eastern 
VOL.  11—31 


482  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

end  of  the  city,  called  the  Bruchium,  contained  the 
royal  palace  of  the  Ptolemies,  under  whose  rule,  in 
their  time  of  vast  power,  Alexandria  became  the 
great  centre  to  which  converged  most  of  the  trade 
of  Europe  and  the  Mediterranean  with  Persia  and 
the  far  East.  The  city  had  over  three  hundred 
thousand  free  inhabitants,  besides  slaves,  and  it  was 
the  renowned  seat  of  universal  learning,  where  the 
schools  of  Grecian  philosophy  flourished.  It  was 
famous  for  the  Alexandrian  Library  and  the  Museum, 
an  establishment  where  scholars  were  maintained 
at  public  expense.  Here  lived  Euclid,  whose 
Elements  of  Geometry  have  since  held  sway  for 
about  twenty-two  centuries  in  all  schools,  a  book 
of  such  abstruse  character  that  it  is  said : 

If  there  should  be  another  flood, 

Hither  for  refuge  fly; 
Were  the  old  world  to  be  submerged 

This  book  would  still  be  dry. 

In  Alexandria,  in  the  third  century  B.  C.,  the 
Scriptures  were  first  made  known  to  the  heathen 
by  the  celebrated  Greek  version  of  the  Old  Testa- 
ment, called  the  Septuagint,  from  the  seventy-two 
members  of  the  Sanhedrim  and  the  translators  who 
made  and  sanctioned  it.  This  version  was  begun 
by  Jews  of  Alexandria,  about  280  B.  C.,  and  finished 
by  other  scholars,  in  the  course  of  several  years, 
and  it  became  the  parent  of  many  translations  into 
various  ancient  languages.  •  Christianity  soon  got  a 


ALEXANDRIA  483 

foothold  here,  though  the  city  became  the  scene  of 
very  unchristian  disputation  and  violence  between 
the  sects,  for  in  no  place  were  religious  conflicts 
more  frequent  or  sanguinary.  There  was  also  great 
suffering,  during  the  struggle  of  Cleopatra  with  her 
brother  Ptolemy,  in  Caesar's  Alexandrian  war. 
The  city  fell  permanently  under  Roman  power, 
about  30  B.  C.,  when  many  of  its  most  precious 
works  of  art  were  removed  to  Home.  Its  greatness, 
however,  continued  until  the  establishment  of  the 
seat  of  the  Roman  Eastern  Empire  at  Constanti- 
nople, when  its  decline  began.  In  the  high  tide  of 
Moslem  conquest  that  followed  the  death  of  Mo- 
hammed the  Prophet,  Amru,  the  general  of  the 
Caliph  Omar,  captured  Alexandria,  in  640  A.  D. 
Omar,  the  second  successor  of  Mohammed,  was  one 
of  the  greatest  Moslem  conquerors,  and  according 
to  one  of  their  historians,  he  "  took  from  the 
infidels  thirty-six  thousand  cities  and  castles,  de- 
stroyed four  thousand  temples  and  churches,  and 
founded  or  endowed  fourteen  hundred  mosques." 
Alexandria  continued  their  chief  city  until,  in  the 
tenth  century,  Cairo  was  founded  by  the  caliphs 
of  the  Fatimite  dynasty,  and  was  made  the  Egyp- 
tian capital.  The  discovery  of  the  route  to  the  East 
Indies  around  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope  completed 
Alexandria's  medieval  decay.  The  only  perfect 
relics  of  the  distant  past  it  still  possesses  are  the 
underground  cisterns  for  the  preservation  of  the 


484  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Nile  water,  the  Catacombs  and  Pompey's  Pillar. 
This  is  an  obelisk  of  red  granite,  a  eingle  stone 
nearly  ninety  feet  high  and  nine  feet  in  diameter, 
standing  on  a  marble  base,  sixty  feet  in  circum- 
ference, and  surmounted  by  a  Corinthian  capital 
nine  feet  high.  The  entire  column,  which  is  114 
feet  high,  is  beautifully  polished,  overtopping  the 
town,  and  serving  as  a  guiding  beacon  for  ships 
entering  the  harbor.  It  was  built  296  A.  D.  by  the 
prefect  of  Egypt,  in  honor  of  Diocletian.  The  old 
city  had  a  circumference  of  nine  miles,  and  at  the 
intersection  of  the  two  chief  streets  was  an  open 
square  over  a  mile  in  circumference,  the  streets 
and  square  being  decorated  by  splendid  palaces, 
temples  and  obelisks,  and  much  of  their  ornamen- 
tation was  subsequently  carried  off  to  embellish 
Rome  and  Constantinople. 

More  than  one-fourth  of  the  ancient  city  of 
Alexandria  was  occupied  by  the  royal  palace, 
which  projected  beyond  the  promontory  of  Lochras, 
and  each  succeeding  Ptolemy  added  to  its  magnifi- 
cence. Within  this  enclosure  were  the  museum, 
which  was  the  home  of  the  learned  men  supported 
by  the  government,  attractive  groves,  spacious  build- 
ings, and  a  temple  where  was  deposited  the  body  of 
Alexander,  in  a  golden  coffin,  brought  from  Babylon 
after  his  death.  One  of  the  Ptolemies  carried  off 
this  golden  coffin,  and  replaced  it  with  one  of  glass. 
The  gymnasium,  upon  the  lake  shore,  on  the  eastern 


ALEXANDRIA  485 

side  of  the  city,  had  a  portico  over  six  hundred  feet 
long,  supported  by  rows  of  marble  columns.  The 
suburb  of  Xicopolis  stretched  far  along  the  seashore, 
outside  the  Canopus  Gate,  and  here  was  a  superb 
amphitheatre  and  race  course.  Dinocrates,  who 
built  the  Temple  of  Diana  at  Ephesus,  was  the 
architect  employed  by  Alexander.  His  great  captain 
and  successor,  Ptolemy  Soter,  who  became  governor 
of  Egypt,  was  the  first  to  take  the  title  of  king, 
making  Alexandria  his  royal  residence  304  B.  C. 
Upon  the  huge  square  watch-tower  of  Pharos,  which 
was  regarded  as  one  of  the  seven  wonders  of  the 
world,  fires  were  kept  burning  to  guide  the  incoming 
sailors,  and  now  a  spacious  fort  occupies  the  site. 

The  Temple  of  Serapeum  housed  the  famous 
Alexandrian  Library,  the  collection  of  manuscript 
books  being  started  by  Ptolemy  I  and  Ptolemy  II, 
and  becoming  the  largest  in  the  world,  prior  to  the 
invention  of  printing.  Demetrius  Phalereus,  a 
Greek  fugitive,  coming  to  the  Egyptian  court,  sug- 
gested it,  and  spoke  with  admiration  of  the  public 
libraries  at  Athens,  being  appointed  the  superin- 
tendent. He  collected  for  it  the  books  of  all  nations, 
and  it  grew  to  seven  hundred  thousand  manuscript 
volumes.  The  plan  was  to  seize  all  books  brought 
into  Egypt  by  Greeks  or  other  foreigners,  which 
were  transcribed,  the  copies  being  handed  back  to 
the  owners  and  the  originals  placed  in  the  library. 
One  of  the  Ptolemies  borrowed  from  the  Athenians 


486  THE  MEDITEKRANEAN 

the  works  of  Sophocles,  Euripedes  and  ^Eschylus, 
returning  the  copies  with  a  present  of  $150,000  for 
the  exchange.  The  library,  and  much  of  the  city, 
were  seriously  damaged  in  the  second  century  B.  C., 
the  learned  men  fleeing  to  Greece  and  the  Archipel- 
ago. During  the  siege  of  the  city,  in  Csesar's  war,  a 
large  part  of  the  library  was  burnt,  and,  according  to 
Gibbon,  Marc  Antony  sent  the  collection  of  books 
from  Pergamos  to  Cleopatra,  which  became  the  nu- 
cleus of  a  new  library,  that  increased  in  size  and  im- 
portance during  four  centuries,  until  dispersed  by  the 
destruction  of  the  Serapeum,  as  a  heathen  temple,  by 
Theodosius,  about  390  A.  D.  Again  the  library  was 
reestablished,  and  Alexandria  flourished  as  one  of  the 
chief  seats  of  literature  under  Christian  auspices, 
until  conquered  by  the  Arabs  in  640.  Amru  wrote 
to  his  master,  the  Caliph  Omar,  "  I  have  taken  the 
City  of  the  West ;  it  is  of  immense  extent ;  there  are 
four  thousand  palaces,  four  thousand  baths,  twelve 
thousand  dealers  in  fresh  oil,  forty  thousand  Jews 
who  pay  tribute,  and  four  hundred  theatres."  The 
library  was  then  burnt,  the  tradition  being  that  this 
was  done  in  consequence  of  Omar's  fanatical  deci- 
sion :  "  If  these  writings  of  the  Greeks  agree  with 
the  Book  of  God,  they  are  useless  and  need  not  be  pre- 
served ;  if  they  disagree,  they  are  pernicious,  and 
ought  to  be  destroyed."  Accordingly  they  were  used 
to  heat  the  water  for  the  four  thousand  baths  of  the 
city,  and  such  was  their  number  that  it  required  six 


ALEXANDRIA  487 

months  to  consume  them.  This  ended  the  famous 
library.  The  noted  Alexandrian  Codex,  an  ancient 
manuscript  of  the  Scriptures,  written  on  vellum, 
which  was  found  in  the  city,  and  in  1628  presented 
to  King  Charles  I  of  England,  is  now  preserved  in 
the  British  Museum. 

The  modern  city  is  built  upon  the  causeway,  which 
was  originally  the  communication  between  the  main- 
land and  the  Pharos,  and  by  constant  accumulations 
of  sand  has  become  a  wide  neck  of  land.  There  are 
two  ports :  one  at  the  extremity  of  an  extensive  road- 
stead, west  of  the  Pharos,  in  which  deep  draft  vessels 
anchor ;  and  the  other,  the  modern  port,  but  less  ad- 
vantageous, on  the  eastern  side  of  the  Pharos.  The 
spacious  Lake  Mareotis,  back  of  the  city,  had  been 
dried  up  by  accumulations  of  sand,  but  in  1801  the 
British  army  cut  through  the  narrow  strip  which  sep- 
arated it  from  Lake  Aboukir,  to  the  eastward,  and  let 
in  the  sea  again.  Alexandria  has  grown  greatly  of 
late,  in  population  and  commerce,  and  is  believed  to 
have  a  half  million  people.  The  newer  modern  town 
has  more  an  Italian  than  an  oriental  appearance,  and 
this  dwarfs  and  overcomes  the  ruins  of  the  ancient 
city  and  the  wretched  habitations  of  the  Arabs. 
The  European  quarter  has  good  streets  and  resi- 
dences, the  central  and  most  attractive  portion  being 
the  great  promenade  of  Mehemet  Ali  Square.  The 
statue  of  that  vigorous  ruler,  the  founder  of  the  pres- 
ent khedival  family,  who  did  so  much  for  the  city 


488  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  for  Egypt,  is  the  centre  of  this  square,  which 
divides  the  Arab  section  from  the  newer  European 
quarter.  During  Arabi  Pasha's  rebellion,  the  mob, 
in  1882,  burnt  the  buildings  around  this  square,  but 
they  were  rebuilt  in  greater  splendor. 

The  Mahmudiyeh  Canal  connects  Alexandria  with 
the  Nile,  and  the  chief  staple  of  trade  is  cotton, 
which  is  more  than  nine-tenths  of  the  whole  Egyptian 
export.  From  almost  under  Pompey's  Pillar  the 
cotton  wharves  extend  inside  the  harbor  for  over  a 
mile  along  this  canal,  and  the  railroad  from  Upper 
Egypt  also  connects  with  them.  There  are  large 
storehouses  and  cotton  presses.  Blue-gowned  Egyp- 
tian laborers  carry  around  the  bags  of  cotton  and 
cotton-seed  upon  their  backs  and  heads.  This  prod- 
uct yields  enormously,  the  increased  growth  being  due 
largely  to  the  Assouan  dam,  and  when  the  rais- 
ing of  the  dam  is  completed,  there  will  be  a  further 
increased  growth  on  the  new  lands  irrigated,  the  crop, 
now  about  1,300,000  to  1,400,000  bales  annually, 
being  expected  then  to  expand  to  2,000,000  bales. 
So  thoroughly  are  the  cotton  lands  worked  that  they 
raise  on  the  average  almost  a  bale  to  the  acre,  the 
yield  being  about  450  pounds.  Eour-nfths  of  the 
crop  grows  in  the  delta,  where  the  best  cotton  is  raised 
on  very  small  farms.  The  crop  of  1907  was  about 
1,300,000  bales  out  of  a  total  world's  product  of  16,- 
512,000  bales,  of  which  the  United  States  produced 
10,882,000  bales  and  India  2,445,000  bales.  Out  of 


ALEXANDRIA  489 

the  total  Egyptian  exports  of  1907,  $140,065,925, 
the  cotton  exports  were  $130,764,555,  $72,500,000 
going  to  the  United  Kingdom,  and  $17,671,000  to  the 
United  States.  Almost  the  whole  export  is  from 
Alexandria.  At  the  harbor  entrance,  a  reef  stretches 
nearly  four  miles  across  between  Adjemi  Point,  on 
the  west,  and  the  Cape  Eas  el  Tin.  Formerly  there  was 
a  channel  excavated  through  this,  about  300  feet  wide 
and  passing  vessels  of  27  feet  draught.  The  growing 
commerce,  however,  required  a  new  channel  to  be 
blasted  through  the  rocky  reef,  nearer  to  Adjemi 
Point,  which  is  approaching  completion,  and  is  600 
feet  wide  and  35  feet  deep.  The  long  stone  protect- 
ive breakwaters  project  far  outside  the  entrance.  A 
large  amount  of  money  has  been  expended  on  this 
work,  and  upon  new  quays  and  docks,  within  the  har- 
bor, to  accommodate  the  great  increase  of  trade.  The 
partly  constructed  railway,  from  Alexandria  west- 
ward over  the  caravan  route,  to  the  border  of  Tripoli, 
is  expected  to  give  a  stimulus  to  trade,  about  two  hun- 
dred miles  being  in  operation. 

About  thirteen  miles  northeast  of  Alexandria  is 
the  port  of  Aboukir,  and  on  the  bay,  out  in  front  of 
it,  was  fought  Nelson's  famous  "  Battle  of  the  Nile," 
in  August,  1798.  The  French  fleet,  with  Napoleon 
Bonaparte  and  his  army  aboard,  had  started  from 
Toulon  and  landed  the  troops  for  the  occupation  of 
Egypt,  and  Nelson  was  sent  with  an  English  squad- 
ron in  pursuit.  The  attack  was  made  at  dusk,  on  Au- 


490  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

gust  1st,  and  though  the  French  fought  desperately, 
the  engagement,  continuing  all  night,  ended  at  day- 
break in  a  complete  victory  for  the  English.  Only 
four  French  vessels  escaped,  and  they  lost  over  5,000 
men,  the  English  loss  being  but  895.  The  French 
Admiral  Brueys  was  mortally  wounded,  and  ISTelson 
slightly.  Many  cases  of  the  greatest  individual  hero- 
ism were  recorded  in  this  noted  conflict.  Captain 
Casabianca  commanded  Admiral  Brueys's  flagship 
L'Orient,  which  blew  up,  and  Casabianca  and  his  son, 
ten  years  old,  were  killed  by  the  explosion,  giving 
the  theme  for  the  famous  ballad  by  Mrs.  Hemans. 
Bonaparte,  afterward,  on  land,  was  more  successful 
than  the  French  fleet  had  been  on  the  sea,  for  at 
Aboukir,  July  25,  1Y99,  with  a  smaller  force,  he  al- 
most annihilated  the  Turkish  army  under  Mustapha 
Pasha. 

QUEEN  CLEOPATRA. 

Alexandria  was  the  birthplace  and  capital  of  the 
romantic  and  wonderful  Cleopatra,  the  last  queen  of 
Egypt.  She  was  the  daughter  of  Ptolemy  Auletes,  born 
69  B.  C.,  and  died,  in  Alexandria,  August  30th,  30  B. 
C.  When  but  seventeen  years  old,  she  became,  by  the 
death  of  her  father,  joint  heir  to  the  throne  with  her 
younger  brother  Ptolemy.  Her  subsequent  life  was 
a  career  of  constant  intrigue,  designed  to  captivate 
the  various  rulers  of  Rome,  who,  through  changing 
fortune,  controlled  the  Mediterranean  and  the  des- 


QUEEN  CLEOPATRA  491 

tinies  of  Egypt,  her  father  having  sought  Roman  aid. 
Cleopatra's  brother,  Ptolemy,  quarreled  with  her, 
and  receiving  ample  support,  she  had  been  driven  out 
of  Alexandria,  when  in  48  B.  C.  Julius  Caesar  cap- 
tured the  city  and  occupied  the  royal  palace.  She 
was  then  twenty-one  years  old,  and  sought  an  inter- 
view with  Caesar,  and  by  a  most  theatrical  venture 
got  into  his  presence.  Arriving  off  the  harbor  en- 
trance in  a  galley,  she  went  in  a  little  boat,  with  but 
a  single  attendant,  the  Sicilian  Apollodorus,  at  twi- 
light into  the  port,  and  unobserved,  reached  the  steps 
leading  to  the  palace  from  the  waterside.  Wrapped 
in  a  roll  of  heavy  carpet,  tied  with  cords,  Apollo- 
dorus carried  her  in,  and  got  to  Caesar's  presence,  to 
display  the  goods.  The  carpet  was  unrolled,  and 
the  attractive  queen  appeared  before  his  astonished 
gaze.  The  daring  scheme  was  entirely  successful, 
the  romantic  introduction,  with  her  beauty  and  arts, 
captivated  him,  and  she  acquired  a  power  over  Caesar, 
which  continued  until  his  death.  He  interfered  in 
her  favor,  she  was  restored  to  the  throne,  and  her 
brother  Ptolemy  was  killed  in  a  battle  on  the  Nile, 
near  Memphis.  Cleopatra  went  to  Rome  with  Cae- 
sar, living  there  in  the  greatest  splendor,  until  his 
assassination,  in  44,  and  she  bore  him  a  son,  Caesar- 
ion.  After  Caesar's  death  she  returned  to  Alexan- 
dria. 

Subsequent  events  made  Marc  Antony  powerful, 
and  he  became  one  of  the  triumvirs,  ruling  Eome  and 


492  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  Mediterranean,  his  share  being  the  countries  at 
the  eastern  border  of  the  great  sea,  and  beyond.  An- 
tony warred  against  the  Parthians,  in  Asia,  and 
proceeding  eastward,  set  up  his  court  at  Tarsus,  in 
Asia  Minor,  and  Cleopatra  then  devoted  her  arts  to 
captivate  him.  Antony  was  not  a  stranger,  having 
made  her  acquaintance  in  Rome,  and  Cleopatra  found 
it  to  her  interest  to  awaken  his  desires,  and  yet  keep 
away  from  him.  Finally  he  sent  for  her,  to  come 
to  Tarsus,  in  41,  and  she  crossed  the  Mediterranean 
and  made  the  triumphal  progress  up  the  River  Cyd- 
nus  to  that  city  which  Plutarch  and  Shakespeare 
have  done  so  much,  by  vivid  description,  to  render 
famous.  But  she  did  not  go  all  the  way  to  him, 
sending  word  that  he  should  first  call  on  her.  This 
he  did,  and  he  was  received  with  magnificence,  the 
queen,  who  understood  him  well,  doing  everything 
possible  to  enslave  him  to  her  charms.  She  gave  a 
feast,  which  lasted  continuously  four  days  and  nights, 
and  the  ensnared  Roman  is  said  to  have  partaken  of 
every  dish.  Her  conquest  was  immediate  and  com- 
plete, and  then  began  their  life  of  revelry  and  ex- 
cesses, which  was  long  continued  in  Asia  Minor,  and 
afterward  at  Alexandria,  and  was  only  interrupted 
when  disturbances  at  Rome  required  Antony's  return. 
He  married  Octavia,  the  sister  of  Octavius,  but  did 
not  forget  the  charming  queen,  three  years  later  re- 
turning to  Alexandria,  where  their  revels  were  re- 
newed, she  bearing  him  children,  and  the  career  of 


QUEEN  CLEOPATRA  493 

dissipation  and  excesses  being  continued  at  Ephesus 
and  Athens.  Antony's  absence  and  misconduct, 
however,  had  raised  many  enemies  at  home,  and  they 
sought  his  defeat,  led  by  Octavius,  and  it  finally  came 
in  31,  in  the  fatal  naval  conflict  at  Actium,  where 
Cleopatra  suddenly  sailed  away  Avith  her  Egyptian 
fleet.  The  defeated  Antony  also  ran  off,  closely  fol- 
lowing her  to  Alexandria.  Then  there  was  another 
round  of  excesses,  but  the  broken  and  dispirited  An- 
tony gave  up  in  despair,  as  enemies  closed  around 
him. 

Finally  Octavius  appeared  before  Alexandria,  and 
soon  was  the  conqueror.  As  Antony  and  his  defeated 
troops  fled  through  the  gates  into  the  city,  the  queen 
gave  up  all  for  lost,  and  retiring  to  an  immense 
mausoleum  she  had  constructed,  locked  herself  within, 
having  only  two  attendants,  her  women  Iras  and 
Charmian.  Antony,  going  to  the  palace,  was  told  she 
had  ended  her  life,  and  then  he  stabbed  himself,  in- 
flicting a  mortal  wound.  As  he  lay  dying,  he  heard 
that  Cleopatra  was  not  dead,  but  in  hiding,  and  being 
carried  to  the  mausoleum,  he  was  admitted,  and  ex- 
pired in  the  lady's  arms.  Octavius  entered  Alexan- 
dria, and  captured  Cleopatra  in  her  mausoleum. 
She  sought  to  fascinate  the  new  conqueror,  as  she  had 
done  the  others,  but  was  unsuccessful.  Soon  she 
realized  that  her  life  was  only  spared  that  she  might 
grace  the  triumph  of  Octavius,  at  Rome.  Then  elud- 
ing the  vigilance  of  the  guards,  an  asp  was  clandes- 


494  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

tinely  brought  her  in  a  basket  of  fruit.  She  caused 
her  attendants  Iras  and  Charmian  to  array  her  in 
her  most  splendid  royal  robes  and  crown,  placed  the 
asp  in  her  bosom,  and  died  from  the  poison  of  its 
bite.  The  two  faithful  women  imitated  her,  and  the 
soldiers  of  Octavius  found  all  three  dead.  Thus 
passed  away  Cleopatra,  the  sixth  Egyptian  queen  of 
that  name,  and  the  last  of  the  celebrated  dynasty  of 
Ptolemies,  who  ruled  Egypt  for  nearly  three  cen- 
turies after  the  death  of  Alexander  the  Great.  Oc- 
tavius, who  afterward  became  the  Roman  Emperor 
Augustus  Caesar,  had  her  son  Caesarion  put  to  death. 
Cleopatra's  career  is  one  of  the  great  memories  of  the 
ancient  world,  and  William  Harris  Lytle  of  Cincin- 
nati, the  Poet  of  the  West,  who  fell  in  the  battle  of 
Chickamauga,  Tennessee,  in  1863,  has  apostrophized 
the  enslaved  Antony's  dying  words  to  his  charmer : 

I  am  dying,  Egypt,  dying! 

Ebbs  the  crimson  life-tide  fast, 
And  the  dark  Plutonian  shadows 

Gather  on  the  evening  blast; 
Let  thine  arms,  oh  queen,  support  me, 

Hush  thy  sobs  and  bow  thine  ear, 
Listen  to  the  great  heart  secrets 

Thou,  and  thou  alone,  must  hear. 

Though  my  scarred  and  veteran  legions 

Bear  their  eagles  high  no  more, 
And  my  wrecked  and  scattered  galleys 

Strew  dark  Actium's  fatal  shore: 
Though  no  glittering  guards  surround  me, 

Prompt  to  do  their  master's  will 


THE  PHARAOHS  AND  THEIR  GODS  495 

I  must  perish  like  a  Roman  — 
Die  the  great  triumvir  still. 

And  for  tliee,  star-eyed  Egyptian  — 

Glorious  sorceress  of  the  Nile! 
Light  the  path  to  Stygian  darkness, 

With  the  splendor  of  thy  smile. 
Give  the  Cresar  crowns  and  arches, 

Let  his  brow  the  laurel  twine; 
I  can  scorn  the  Senate's  triumph ; 

Triumphing  in  love  like  thine. 

I  am  dying,  Egypt,  dying! 

Hark!    the  insulting  foemen's   cry; 
They  are  coming  —  quick,  my  falchion! 

Let  me  front  them  ere  I  die. 
Ah!   no  more  amid  the  battle 

Shall  my  heart  exulting  swell; 
Isis  and  Osiris  guard  thee — • 

Cleopatra  —  Rome  —  farewell! 

THE  PHAEAOHS  AND  THEIR  GODS. 

There  is  no  appreciable  limit  to  the  antiquity  of 
Egypt.  Its  traditionary  records  are  historical,  back 
about  as  far  as  four  thousand  years  before  Christ, 
and  earlier  than  that  time  they  fade  into  mythical 
tales.  Menes  is  generally  said  to  have  been  the  first 
king  or  pharaoh,  and  he  was  succeeded  by  341  mon- 
archs  to  Sethos,  known  as  Seti  I.  Herodotus  says 
that  the  priests  told  him  there  were  between  Menes 
and  Sethos  341  generations  and  11,340  years.  The 
name  of  pharaoh  is  derived  from  the  Egyptian 
Pli-Ra,  the  sun,  and  was  given  the  king  to  denote 
that  he  was  an  emblem  of  the  god  of  light  and  de- 


496  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

rived  his  authority  directly  from  Heaven.  In  the 
ancient  hieroglyphics  this  name  is  expressed  by  a 
ring  or  disk,  representing  the  sun.  The  Egyptian 
paganism  was  pantheism,  generally  in  family  groups, 
of  a  parent  god,  and  a  wife  or  sister,  and  a  son.  It 
was  also,  in  the  earlier  times,  largely  local,  each  cap- 
ital and  district  having  its  special  divinities.  Thus, 
Ptah  was  the  god  of  Memphis,  and  his  triad,  with  the 
goddess  Sakhot,  or  Bast,  and  Imhotep,  were  pre- 
eminent while  Memphis  was  the  capital.  Thebes 
was  the  capital  during  Egypt's  greatest  prominence, 
and  its  god  Ammon  then  became  the  chief  deity  of 
the  country.  Here  the  triad  was  Ammon,  Mut  and 
Khonsu.  At  Apollinopolis  were  Magna,  Hor- 
bahud,  or  Horus,  Hathor  and  Her-pakhrut  (Her- 
pocrates).  These  governing  triads  and  combina- 
tions were  usually  accompanied  by  inferior  deities, 
completing  the  company,  and  being  personifications 
of  the  elements,  senses  and  passions  of  humanity. 
The  worship  of  some  of  these  gods  became  almost 
universal,  that  of  Osiris,  Isis  and  Horus  being  found 
all  over  Egypt,  in  the  earliest  period.  Osiris  was 
perhaps  the  most  universally  worshipped,  he  being 
the  god  and  judge  of  the  dead,  before  whom  every 
soul  was  to  be  brought  for  final  judgment.  Accord- 
ing to  the  Greek  descriptions,  the  gods  were  divided 
into  various  orders  or  systems,  the  gods  of  Memphis 
being  Ptah,  Ea,  Shu,  Seb,  Osiris,  Sator,  Typhan  and 
Horus.  The  Theban  system  included  Ammon,  Mentu, 


THE  PHARAOHS  AND  THEIR  GODS  497 

Atmu,  Shu,  Seb,  Osiris,  Set,  Horus  and  Sabak. 
There  afterward  carne  a  tendency  to  fuse  different 
gods  into  one,  Ammon-Ra,  for  example,  being  identi- 
fied with  Horus,  and  Horus,  Ra,  Khnurn,  Mentu  and 
Turn  being  merely  representatives  of  the  sun  at  dif- 
ferent periods  of  his  diurnal  course.  With  the  ex- 
pansion of  Egyptian  commerce,  foreign  deities  be- 
came engrafted  into  the  system,  such  as  Bar  (Baal), 
Ashtarata  (Ashtaroth),  Anta  (Anastis)  and  Set  or 
Sutekh,  another  name  for  Baal. 

The  first  of  all  deities  was  Ptah  of  Memphis,  the 
"  opener,"  a  bow-legged  dwarf,  who  was  the  creator 
of  the  world,  sun  and  moon,  out  of  chaos,  which  was 
called  "  ha,"  or  matter.  He  was  the  head-god  of  the 
country  until  the  political  career  of  Memphis  came 
to  an  end.  Sakhet  was  a  lioness,  and  Bast  and 
Bubastis,  lion-headed  goddesses  presiding  over  fire. 
!N"efer-Tum,  son  of  Ptah,  was  a  god,  wearing  a  lotus 
on  his  head.  Menes  founded  Memphis,  and  it  de- 
clined when  Thebes  became  the  capital,  and  Ammon 
was  its  god,  his  temple  being  built  at  Karnak.  As 
Ammon  became  more  powerful,  his  priests  desired 
to  give  him  the  attributes  of  other  gods,  as  his  greater 
glory  reflected  upon  them,  and  hence  to  give  him  the 
added  influence  of  Ra,  the  sun-god  of  Heliopolis,  they 
called  him  Ammon-Ra.  As  Thebes  became  the  chief 
city,  in  ancient  Egypt's  period  of  greatness,  so  Am- 
mon-Ra  came  to  be  acknowledged  as  the  head  of  the 

gods,  at  least  in  outward  demonstration,  throughout 
VOL.  11—32 


498  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  land.  When  the  Egyptians  conquered  Nubia, 
they  established  the  worship  of  Ammon  there,  and 
when,  in  turn,  the  Ethiopians  invaded  Egypt,  they 
were  loyal  to  Ammon-Ea.  •  He  represented  all  the 
hidden  power  of  the  sun,  and  was  the  Jupiter  of  the 
Egyptian  Olympus.  Mut,  his  wife,  was  the  mother 
goddess  of  matter,  or  the  Juno ;  Khonsu  or  "  force," 
their  son,  was  the  Hercules ;  and  Nit,  or  the  "  Shut- 
tle," was  the  Minerva,  in  the  Theban  combination. 
Subordinate  to  these  was  Khom  or  Amsu,  the  "  en- 
shrined," who,  as  Harneklet,  or  powerful  Horus,  rep- 
resented the  beginning  and  the  end,  or  cause  and 
effect.  Closely  related  was  Khnum,  worshipped  at 
Elephantine,  the  ram-headed  god  of  the  liquid  ele- 
ment, who  also  created  the  matter  of  which  the  gods 
were  made,  and  connected  with  him  were  the  god- 
desses Heka,  the  "  frog,"  a  primeval  formation, 
Seti,  a  "  sunbeam,"  and  Anuka,  described  as  the  be- 
ginning of  the  godhead. 

The  story  of  Osiris  is  told  by  Plutarch,  and,  ac- 
cording to  the  legend,  Newt,  the  goddess  of  the  sky, 
whose  husband  was  Ea,  the  sun-god,  and  father  of 
the  other  gods,  had  four  children,  the  gods  Osiris 
and  Set  and  the  goddesses  Isis  and  Nephthys.  But 
Ea  was  not  the  father  of  Osiris,  who  was  begotten  by 
Seb,  and  his  birth  created  a  scandal  in  Heaven,  al- 
though Ea,  who  was  very  angry,  seems  to  have  been 
afterward  appeased.  Osiris,  in  human  form,  be- 
came the  Egyptian  king,  ruling  wisely,  but  his 


THE  PHARAOHS  AND  THEIR  GODS  499 

brother  Set,  the  god  of  evil  and  darkness,  hated  and 
tried  to  destroy  him.  He  persuaded  Osiris  to  enter  a 
chest,  which  was  immediately  closed,  covered  with 
molten  lead,  and  thrown  into  the  Nile,  being  car- 
ried to  the  sea.  It  lodged  in  a  tamarisk  tree,  which 
grew  all  around  it.  Meanwhile  his  sister  and  wife, 
Isis,  searched  for  the  body,  and  finding  it,  brought 
it  back  in  the  chest,  and,  hiding  it,  started  to  find  her 
son  Horus.  Set,  however,  discovered  the  chest,  and 
taking  the  body  out,  tore  it  into  fourteen  pieces,  that 
were  scattered  throughout  Egypt.  Isis,  returning, 
hunted  for  the  dismembered  body,  burying  each  piece 
where  she  found  it,  and  building  a  shrine  to  Osiris. 
When  Horus  grew  to  manhood,  he  fought  Set,  the 
murderer  of  his  father,  in  a  contest  continuing  sev- 
eral days,  finally  bringing  him  a  prisoner  to  Isis. 
She  let  Set  go,  and  Horus,  enraged,  tore  the  diadem 
from  her  brow,  which  Thout  replaced  by  a  cow's 
head.  The  head  of  Osiris  had  been  found,  and  was 
buried  at  Abydos,  which  became  his  chief  shrine. 
The  ancient  Egyptian  wished  to  be  buried  at  Abydos, 
that  thus  was  made  the  scene  of  the  last  judgment, 
or  at  least  arranged  for  his  mummy  to  be  sent  there, 
to  dwell  for  a  time  with  Osiris.  Both  Seti  and 
Eameses  built  temples  there  to  the  god,  the  legend 
of  his  dismemberment  and  resurrection  being  favorite 
subjects  of  illustration  in  the  Osiris  temples  at 
Abydos,  Denderah,  Karnak  and  Philse.  Isis,  the  sis- 
ter and  wife  of  Osiris,  was  probably  the  greatest 


500  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Egyptian  goddess,  her  worship  spreading  to  Syria 
and  Italy.  To  her,  the  island  of  Philse  was  especially 
sacred,  and  she  is  also  identified,  and  to  an  extent 
confused,  with  Hathor.  The  cow  was  sacred  to  both, 
and  they  are  represented  with  horns  and  sometimes 
with  the  cow's  head;  the  moon,  which  was  sacred  to 
them,  being  usually  placed  between  the  horns.  Horns 
was  most  widely  worshipped,  and  had  various  names 
in  different  places,  among  them  Ee-Harmakhis.  He 
was  a  sun-god,  and  thus  the  prefix  Ee  was  given,  and 
he  had  a  hawk's  head,  as  the  hawk  was  sacred  to  him. 
He  was  the  special  god  of  Edfu  and  Kom  Ombo, 
and  the  patron  of  the  famous  Sphynx  near  Cairo. 

Ea  was  the  great  sun-god,  and  was  worshipped  as 
the  god  of  day,  the  creator  of  the  world  and  all  things, 
and  the  giver  of  light  and  heat.  His  chief  place  of 
worship  was  at  Heliopolis,  the  On  of  the  Bible, 
which  at  one  time  was  the  most  important  religious 
centre,  though  its  buildings  have  almost  entirely  dis- 
appeared, their  materials  having  been  carried  off  by 
the  Arabs  for  the  construction  of  Cairo.  Joseph 
married  the  daughter  of  a  priest  of  Ea,  Plato  studied 
in  the  Heliopolis  schools,  and  Herodotus  and  Strabo 
visited  it.  The  belief  is  that  Moses  was  educated 
at  Heliopolis,  as  St.  Paul  says  he  was  "  instructed 
in  all  the  wisdom  of  the  Egyptians."  The  religious 
literature  of  Egypt  shows  the  influence  of  the  priests 
of  On.  It  was  natural  that  the  rival  priests,  at 
Thebes,  should  have  given  Ea's  attributes  to  their  god 


THE  PHARAOHS  AND  THEIR  GODS     501 

Ammon-Ra,  thus  making  him  also  a  sun-god.  The 
multitude  in  Egypt  worshipped  a  great  variety  of 
abstract  principles,  and  even  animals  and  vegetables, 
and  the  doctrine  of  only  one  god  was  rare,  though  it 
is  believed  to  have  been  privately  taught,  by  some  of 
the  priests,  to  a  select  few.  To  each  deity  an  animal 
seems  to  have  been  held  sacred,  and  was  regarded  as 
a  symbolical  representative.  We  have  seen  how  the 
cow  was  sacred  to  Isis  and  Hathor,  and  the  hawk  to 
Horus.  Similarly,  the  cat  was  sacred  to  Ptah ;  the 
ibis  to  Thout,  the  ibis-headed  scribe  of  the  gods,  who 
was  the  patron  of  learning;  the  crocodile  to  Sebek; 
the  ram  to  Khnum,  who  had  a  ram's  head;  and  the 
bull  to  Osiris,  the  sacred  bull  of  Memphis,  whose 
name  was  Apis,  being  particularly  venerated 
throughout  Egypt.  The  existence  of  the  spirit 
after  death  was  universally  believed,  and  also  a 
future  state  of  rewards  and  punishments,  in  which 
the  good  dwelt  with  the  gods,  while  the  wicked 
were  consigned  to  fiery  torments  amid  perpetual 
darkness.  There  also  was  a  belief  that,  after  the 
lapse  of  ages,  the  spirit  will  return  to  the  body, 
which,  therefore,  was  carefully  embalmed. 

The  sacred  bull  Apis,  the  Egyptian  Hepi,  had 
divine  honors  paid  him  at  Memphis,  as  the  imper- 
sonation of  Osiris.  It  was  necessary  that  this  bull 
should  be  black,  with  a  triangle  of  white  on  the  fore- 
head, a  white  spot  in  the  form  of  a  crescent  on  the 
right  side,  and  a  sort  of  knot,  shaped  like  a  beetle, 


502  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

under  his  tongue.  Bulls  of  this  peculiar  description 
were  rare,  but  when  one  was  found,  he  was  fed  during 
four  months  in  a  building  facing  the  east.  At  the 
new  moon,  he  was  led  to  a  splendid  ship  on  the  river 
Nile,  with  great  solemnity,  and  conveyed  to  Heli- 
opolis,  where  he  was  fed  forty  days  more  by  the 
priests  and  women.  Then  the  priests  carried  him  to 
Memphis,  where  he  had  a  temple,  two  chambers  to 
dwell  in,  and  a  large  court  for  exercise.  His  actions 
were  supposed  to  have  prophetic  significance,  and  he 
was  believed  to  impart  prophetic  power  to  the  chil- 
dren about  him.  Every  year,  when  the  Nile  began 
rising,  his  birthday  was  celebrated,  the  festival  con- 
tinuing seven  days,  and  it  was  said  the  crocodiles 
were  always  tame,  as  long  as  the  feast  lasted.  De- 
spite all  the  veneration  shown  him,  the  bull  was  not 
permitted  to  live  beyond  twenty-five  years,  this  dura- 
tion of  time  being  based,  it  was  thought,  on  the  as- 
tronomical theology  of  the  Egyptians.  The  death  of 
Apis,  however,  produced  universal  mourning,  con- 
tinuing until  the  priests  had  found  a  successor.  As 
it  was  difficult  to  find  one  bearing  all  the  necessary 
marks,  the  traditions  indicate  that  fraud  was  some- 
times practiced  by  the  priests. 

There  have  been  enumerated  438  gods  of  various 
degrees  of  importance  in  the  Egyptian  mythology. 
In  the  representations  on  the  temples  and  tombs  most 
of  them  have  human  bodies,  but  their  crowns  differ. 
Osiris  wears  the  crown  of  Upper  Egypt,  and  is 


THE  PHARAOHS  AND  THEIR  GODS  503 

wrapped  as  a  mummy;  Ammon-Ra's  crown  is  lofty, 
resembling  two  cornucopias;  Horus  has  a  hawk's 
head;  Mut,  a  cap  with  vulture's  wings;  and  Maat 
wears  a  feather.  The  religious  service  was  the 
adoration  of  the  god,  with  singing  and  processions, 
some  sacrifices,  and  generally  gifts,  which  pleased 
the  priests.  Ra,  and  all  the  sun-gods,  were  adored 
at  the  rising  and  setting.  The  priests  were  usually 
oracles,  were  consulted  as  fortune-tellers  are,  and 
being  the  learned  men  of  the  time,  they  com- 
posed all  the  books.  The  Precepts  of  Ptah-hotep  and 
the  Confessions  of  the  Soul  of  Osiris  are  regarded  as 
among*  the  oldest  books  in  the  world.  They  also 
wrote  the  Book  of  the  Dead  and  the  Book  of  the 
Underworld  (the  Duat).  The  people  saw  the  sun- 
god  Ra  go  down  in  the  west,  and  reappear  next  morn- 
ing in  the  east.  As  he  must  have  travelled  under- 
neath to  do  so,  the  proximity  of  the  Nile  gave  them 
the  impression  that  he  did  this  in  a  boat,  and  conse- 
quently he  journeyed  during  the  night  in  his  boat 
through  the  Duat,  a  long  narrow  valley  with  a  river. 
The  Duat  contained  demons  of  all  kinds,  mostly 
snakes,  and  was  divided  into  twelve  parts  repre- 
senting the  hours,  the  pylon,  or  entrance  to  each,  .be- 
ing guarded  by  the  demons.  A  vast  multitude  of  the 
souls  of  the  dead  accompanied  Ra  in  his  underworld 
journey,  but  if  they  did  not  have  the  proper  password 
their  progress  was  obstructed.  If  it  happened  that 
Osiris,  in  his  judgment,  condemned  a  soul,  it  was 


504  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

at  once  devoured  by  the  waiting  dog,  and  annihi- 
lated. The  Duat  displayed  conspicuous  fires,  but 
they  were  not  for  the  torment  of  the  damned,  but 
to  give  more  splendor  to  the  progress  of  Ra.  From 
these  flames  no  doubt  came  the  subsequent  idea  of 
the  hell  awaiting  the  wicked.  When  the  Persians 
arrived  they  insulted  the  Egyptian  gods,  but  Alex- 
ander the  Great  recognized,  and  even  worshipped 
them,  and  the  Romans  went  further,  by  admitting 
Egypt's  leading  divinities  to  their  own  pantheon. 
They  thus  identified  Jupiter  as  Ammon,  Osiris 
became  Pluto,  Horus  was  Apollo,  and  Isis  or  Hathor 
was  Venus.  St.  Mark  introduced  Christianity  into 
Egypt?  and  it  got  a  firm  foothold,  but  in  the  seventh 
century  the  Moslems  overran  Egypt,  and  Islam  has 
been  the  prevalent  religion  ever  since.  Now,  nine- 
tenths  of  the  people  are  Mohammedans  of  the  Sun- 
nite  sect.  There  are  750,000  Christians,  mostly 
Copts,  these  being  the  purest  descendants  of  the  an- 
cient Egyptian  race,  and  probably  30,000  Hebrews 
reside  in  the  country. 

In  Egyptian  history,  there  are  thirty-one  dynasties 
of  pharaohs  enumerated  between  the  great  Menes, 
who  began  the  list,  and  the  conquest  by  Alexander. 
Although  the  priests  told  Herodotus  about  the  341 
generations  and  11,340  years  between  Menes  and 
Sethos,  yet  Professor  Flinders  Petrie,  as  the  result 
of  his  valuable  researches,  thinks  that  Menes  ruled 
about  4777  B.  C.,  and  that  a  dynasty  of  ten  kings  of 


THE  PHARAOHS  AND  THEIR  GODS  505 

Thines  ruled  previously,  beginning  about  5,000  B. 
C.  The  thirty-one  dynasties  are  divided  into  the 
Ancient  Empire,  of  eleven  dynasties,  continuing  dur- 
ing some  twenty  centuries  to  2778  B.  C.,  the  Middle 
Empire,  of  six  dynasties,  until  1587  B.  C.,  and  the 
New  Empire,  beginning  with  Egypt's  most  glorious 
period,  in  the  eighteenth  and  nineteenth  dynasties, 
and  then  diminishing  in  force  until  the  coming  of 
Alexander.  Menes  founded  Memphis.  The  third 
dynasty  made  the  earliest  pyramid,  the  Step  Pyra- 
mid of  Sakkara,  built  by  Zeser,  the  second  pharaoh ; 
and  Snefru,  the  ninth  and  last  king,  built  Medum 
Pyramid.  The  fourth  dynasty  included  the  greatest 
pyramid  builders,  Cheops,  Chephren  and  Menkaura. 
The  twelfth  dynasty  began  Karnak,  and  its  pharaoh, 
Usertesen  I,  set  up  obelisks  at  Heliopolis,  his  suc- 
cessors conquering  Nubia,  and  advancing  the  south- 
ern boundary  of  the  kingdom  as  far  as  Wady  Haifa 
and  the  Second  Cataract.  Amenemhat  III,  of  this 
dynasty,  built  the  dam  regulating  Lake  Moeris, 
which  had  been  made  by  an  earlier  pharaoh,  and 
thus  established  the  first  reservoir  for  controlling 
the  Nile  waters,  which  created  the  Eayoum,  one  of 
the  richest  Egyptian  provinces.  The  Hyksos  or 
Shepherd  Kings,  then  came  into  power,  but  were 
driven  out  by  Aahmes  I,  who  began  the  eighteenth 
dynasty,  the  first  of  the  New  Empire,  this  pharaoh, 
afterward  deified,  being  regarded  as  the  George 
Washington  of  Egypt. 


506  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Then  followed  the  most  famous  period  of  Egyp- 
tian history,  continuing  four  centuries,  and  includ- 
ing the  celebrated  Pharaohs  Amenhotep,  Thothmes, 
Queen  Hatasu,  Sethos  and  Rameses.  The  greatest 
among  these  were  Thothmes  III  and  Kameses  II, 
who  built  many  temples  and  carried  on  wars  of 
conquest.  Thothmes  III  constructed  the  two  Cleo- 
patra's Needles  at  Heliopolis,  afterward  taken  to 
Alexandria.  Thothmes  I  had  two  sons  and  a  daugh- 
ter, the  noted  Queen  Hatasu.  She  was  the  co-ruler 
during  the  final  years  of  her  father's  reign,  and 
then  was  the  wife  of  her  older  brother  Thothmes  II, 
and  afterward  ruled  with  the  other  brother,  or 
nephew  (which  is  uncertain),  Thothmes  III.  She 
was  the  controlling  power  in  Egypt  for  thirty  years, 
until  her  death.  She  built  the  Der  el-Bahri  Temple 
at  Thebes,  and  in  memory  of  her  father  set  up  two 
obelisks  at  Karnak,  one  being  a  flawless  block  of  red 
granite,  and  the  loftiest  monolith  existing.  She 
sent  out  what  is  believed  to  have  been  the  world's 
first  armada,  and  to  do  this  excavated  the  first 
canal  from  the  Nile  to  the  Red  Sea,  by  which  her 
galleys  got  out  into  the  ocean,  and  sailed  to  the 
"  Land  of  Punt,"  supposed  to  be  Somaliland,  on  the 
eastern  African  coast.  Bas-reliefs,  on  the  walls  of 
her  great  temple,  show  the  progress  and  warm  re- 
ception of  this  early  exploring  expedition,  and  the 
exchange  of  gifts  with  the  Prince  of  Punt.  Her 
sculptured  face  is  also  there,  displaying  a  rounded 


THE  PHARAOHS  AND  THEIR  GODS  507 

outline,  a  delicately  carved  aquiline  nose,  and  the 
suggestion  of  a  dimple  in  her  chin.  During  her 
era,  Arabia  was  conquered,  and  the  Egyptian  empire 
extended  eastward  to  the  Euphrates,  and  westward 
to  Algeria,  while  a  powerful  fleet  was  established 
on  the  Mediterranean,  by  which  Cyprus,  Crete,  the 
Grecian  Archipelago,  and  the  coasts  of  southern 
Greece  and  Italy  were  occupied  and  controlled. 
Her  temple  at  Karnak  was  completed,  after  her 
death,  by  Thothmes  III,  who  erased  her  memorials, 
however,  and  took  the  glory  to  himself.  He  erected 
colossal  statues  at  Thebes,  and  built  Luxor,  which 
was  completed  by  Eameses  II.  The  first  Eameses 
reigned  but  a  short  time  after  Thothmes,  and  was 
succeeded  by  Seti  I,  the  Sethos  of  the  Greek  writers, 
who  began  the  extensive  Temple  of  Osiris  at  Abydos. 
Eameses  II  completed  this,  and  built  the  Hall  of 
Columns  at  Karnak. 

Eameses  II,  the  son  of  Seti,  was  probably  the 
greatest  of  the  Egyptian  pharaohs.  He  did  not 
carry  on  so  many  wars,  his  ancestors  having  had 
wide  conquests,  but  he  was  a  prolific  builder,  a  re- 
lentless tyrant,  and  to  the  subsequent  Greek  and 
Eoman  chroniclers  became  the  hero-king  of  Egypt. 
Abydos,  Luxor  and  the  rock-temple  of  Abu  Simbel 
are  his  monuments.  He  reigned  for  sixty-seven 
years,  and  is  said  to  have  had  one  hundred  and 
seventy  children  of  all  degrees,  there  being  seventy- 
nine  sons  and  fifty-nine  daughters  enumerated  on 


508  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  records.  His  fourth  son,  Khsemuas,  was  in- 
tended to  be  the  successor,  but  the  old  pharaoh  out- 
lived him,  and  then  Meneptah,  the  thirteenth  son, 
was  proclaimed  heir,  but  did  not  succeed  until 
eleven  years  later.  From  the  career  of  Eameses, 
deified  as  Sasu-Ea,  and  his  predecessors,  Thothmes 
and  Seti,  the  Greek  writers  formed  the  legend  of 
Sesostris,  the  Egyptian  conqueror,  the  name  being 
a  combination  of  the  three,  as  were  the  hero's  won- 
derful exploits. 

Eameses  is  believed  to  have  begun  the  Hebrew 
unrest,  being  a  relentless  taskmaster.  We  are  told 
by  the  Hebrew  text  of  the  Bible  that  Abraham  vis- 
ited Egypt,  on  account  of  the  famine  in  Canaan,  in 
the  20th  century  B.  C.,  and  the  Septuagint  fixes  it 
in  the  26th  century.  When,  about  1700  B.  C., 
Jacob  and  his  family  followed  Joseph  to  Egypt, 
there  were  some  seventy  of  them,  with  a  thousand 
dependents.  They  rapidly  increased  to  two  or  three 
millions,  and  it  was  sought  to  check  their  increase 
by  destroying  all  the  male  children.  Meneptah  is 
regarded  as  the  pharaoh  of  the  Exodus,  when  Moses 
led  them  across  the  Red  Sea  to  the  wilderness  of 
Sinai,  in  the  search  for  the  Promised  Land. 

After  this  period  the  Egyptian  empire  dete- 
riorated. The  succeeding  pharaohs  were  descend- 
ants of  Eameses,  and  their  mummies,  as  those  of 
their  greater  predecessors,  have  been  found  in  their 
tombs  mostly  in  the  Bibon  el  Muluk  ravine  at 


THE  PHARAOHS  AND  THEIR  GODS      509 

Thebes.  All  the  ancient  writers  had  a  wonderful 
conception  of  this  city.  Homer  calls  it  "  hundred- 
gated  Thebes,"  with  two  hundred  chariots  at  each 
gate ;  Diodorus  says  it  had  twenty  thousand  chariots ; 
and  Strabo  quotes  a  priest  as  telling  him  the  fighting 
force  of  the  Theban  army  was  seven  hundred  thou- 
sand men.  For  several  centuries  Egypt  declined, 
and  the  Ethiopians,  pressing  northward,  ultimately 
conquered,  and  they  provided  the  pharaohs  of  the 
twenty-fifth  dynasty.  Then  came  the  Assyrian  in- 
vasions, that  nation  being  the  world-power  of  the 
time,  but  they  were  overthrown,  and  in  the  sixth 
century  B.  C.,  the  Persians  under  Cambyses  con- 
quered Egypt,  founding  the  twenty-seventh  dynasty. 
He  shocked  the  religious  sensibilities  of  the  people 
by  killing,  with  his  own  hand,  the  Apis  bull,  and 
he  also  threw  down  the  colossal  statue  of  the  great 
Eameses.  In  the  fifth  century  there  was  a  brief 
Egyptian  revival,  under  Nectanebo,  who  drove  out 
the  Persians,  but  they  regained  possession,  and  held 
it  until  the  arrival  of  Alexander  the  Great,  332  B. 
C.,  and  then  ended  the  native  Egyptian  kingdom, 
its  rulers  becoming  Grecian,  in  the  Ptolemies,  with 
Ptolemy  Soter  heading  this  dynasty.  They  were 
builders  of  many  temples,  but  their  line  ended  with 
the  Roman  conquest,  Egypt  becoming  the  chief 
granary  of  that  empire,  and  at  the  partition,  in  the 
fourth  century  of  our  era,  falling  to  the  Eastern 
Kingdom,  ruled  from  Constantinople.  Then  came 


510  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  Mohammedan  uprising  over  all  the  eastern 
lands,  and  the  capture  of  Alexandria,  641  A.  D.,  by 
Amru,  the  general  of  the  Caliph  Omar.  The 
Abbassides  dynasty  at  first  ruled,  but  were  over- 
thrown by  the  Fatimites,  in  970,  and  they  by  the 
Mamelukes,  in  1240,  and  in  turn  the  latter  were 
conquered  by  the  Turkish  Sultan  Selim,  in  1516. 
Egypt  was  nominally  ruled  by  a  Turkish  pasha, 
but  there  was  a  strife  between  the  Turks  and  Mame- 
lukes, nearly  all  the  time,  until  Napoleon  came,  in 
1798,  and  almost  annihilated  the  Mameluke  army, 
in  the  Battle  of  the  Pyramids.  The  English,  in 
1801,  drove  out  the  French,  restoring  Turkish  rule, 
and  then  Mehemet  Ali  became  the  power,  but  he  was 
brought  into  subjection,  and  Egypt  in  recent  years 
has  been  under  British  control. 

CAIRO    THE    VICTORIOUS. 

When  Johar,  the  victorious  general  of  Abu  Tum- 
mim,  the  imaum  of  the  Fatimites  of  Tunis,  con- 
quered Egypt  from  the  Abbassides,  he  encamped  on 
the  Nile,  just  above  the  delta,  at  a  place  called 
Fostat,  or  "the  tent,"  which  he  made  his  capital, 
and  about  a  mile  east  from  the  river,  founded  a  city 
to  commemorate  his  victory,  which  he  called  Masr  el 
Kahireh,  "  the  victorious."  Thus,  Cairo  is  only 
about  a  thousand  years  old,  and  consequently  the 
most  modern  city  of  Egypt.  It  was  made  the  cap- 
ital in  the  twelfth  century,  and  Saladin  greatly  im- 


CAIRO  THE  VICTORIOUS  511 

proved  and  enlarged  it.  While  on  the  Nile  plain, 
a  spur  of  the  Mokkatam  range  approaches  its  south- 
eastern border,  and  here  was  built  the  citadel.  Thus 
made  the  stronghold  of  the  caliphs,  it  has  become 
the  chief  city  of  modern  Egypt,  and  is  really  the 
ideal  Mohammedan  capital.  Says  the  Arab  physi- 
cian in  the  Iluncliback,  "  He  who  hath  not  seen 
Cairo,  hath  not  seen  the  world;  its  soil  is  gold;  its 
Nile  is  a  wonder;  its  women  are  like  the  black-eyed 
virgins  of  Paradise;  its  houses  are  palaces;  and  its 
air  is  soft — its  odor  surpassing  that  of  aloes-wood 
and  cheering  the  heart ;  and  how  can  Cairo  be  other- 
wise, when  it  is  the  mother  of  the  world  ?  "  The  rail- 
way taking  the  visitor  from  Alexandria  to  Cairo 
traverses  the  delta,  crossing  a  region  mostly  of 
black,  sandy  loam,  as  level  as  a  floor,  intersected  and 
broken  only  by  irrigation  canals  and  ditches,  and 
presenting  interesting  agricultural  scenes.  There 
are  no  fences  and  no  waste  places,  every  foot  of  sur- 
face being  utilized,  the  irrigation  system  making  the 
land  very  fruitful.  The  pumps  and  the  methods 
of  cultivation  are  the  same,  however,  as  they  were 
in  the  time  of  the  pharaohs,  the  dark-hued  and  bare- 
legged laborers  appearing  everywhere,  with  camels, 
donkeys  and  crooked-horned  gray  buffalo  oxen  aiding 
in  the  work.  The  monotony  of  the  level  surface  is 
varied  by  groups  of  palm  trees,  and  villages  of  small 
mud  huts,  roofed  with  sugar-cane  stalks,  used  only 
as  a  protection  from  the  heat  and  dews,  in  this 


512  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

almost  rainless  region.  The  dried  corn  and  cotton 
stalks  are  the  chief  fuel.  Various  canals  and  arms 
of  the  Nile  are  crossed,  and  apparently  prosperous 
towns  are  passed,  Damanhour,  with  33,000  people, 
Tanta,  with  100,000,  and  Banha,  where  they  have 
prolific  vineyards.  As  Cairo  is  approached,  the 
scenery  improves,  there  are  fine  gardens  and  villas, 
the  great  delta  valley  narrows,  and  the  hill  borders, 
along  the  Kile,  loom  up  in  the  distance.  High  ridges 
soon  break  the  landscape,  off  on  the  eastern  side, 
their  summits  covered  with  buildings  and  minarets, 
while  far  away  southward  are  the  tops  of  the  three 
pyramids,  looking  very  small  in  the  distance,  but 
standing  out  plainly  against  the  sky.  After  a  four 
hours'  ride,  the  train  halts  at  the  imposing  Arabian 
station  in  Cairo,  and  the  crowd  of  hotel-runners,  cab- 
men, donkey  boys  and  porters  give  the  passengers  a 
vociferous  reception. 

Situated  near  the  apex  of  the  wide-spreading 
delta,  in  the  figurative  oriental  splendors  of  language, 
Cairo  is  said  to  be  "  the  brightest  jewel  in  the  handle 
of  the  green  fan  of  Egypt."  It  covers  about  eleven 
square  miles  of  the  plain,  adjoining  the  Nile,  and 
stretches  from  the  port  of  Boulak  over  to  Mount 
Mokkatam.  When  Johar  made  Fostat  on  the  Nile 
his  capital,  he  found  it,  about  as  Amru,  the  original 
Mohammedan  conqueror,  had  left  it,  more  than  three 
centuries  previously,  the  place  where  Amru  had  en- 
camped, and  hence  its  name,  referring  to  his  "  tent." 


CAIRO  THE  VICTORIOUS  513 

This  site,  with  Askar  or  the  "  Camp,"  Katai  or  the 
"  Fiefs,"  and  Masr  el  Atika  or  "  Old  Cairo,"  four 
separate  cities,  have  all  been  included  in  the  exten- 
sive capital,  Masr  el  Kaliireh,  the  Italians  having 
corrupted  the  latter  word  into  Cairo,  which  Euro- 
peans have  adopted  as  the  name,  while  the  natives 
cling  to  Masr,  the  older  title.  The  city  has  greatly 
improved,  under  European  control,  and  the  newer 
part  gradually  encroaches  upon  the  older  city.  The 
population  exceeds  six  hundred  thousand,  of  whom 
about  forty  thousand  are  Europeans.  The  modern 
centre  of  Cairo  is  the  Garden  of  the  Esbekiyeh,  a 
spacious  public  square,  adorned  with  fine  trees  and 
shrubbery,  and  around  it  are  the  chief  hotels,  the 
banks  and  various  public  buildings.  From  this  gar- 
den oasis  extends  the  chief  street,  the  Boulevard 
Mehemet  Ali,  southeast,  through  the  heart  of  the 
city,  to  the  Mokkatam  mountain  ridge. 

The  citadel  stands,  as  the  crowning  edifice  upon 
this  impressive  ridge,  the  stronghold  of  Saladin, 
elevated  250  feet  above  the  city,  and  it  contains  the 
khedive's  palace,  the  mint,  public  offices  and  bar- 
racks, and  the  splendid  mosque  of  Mehemet  Ali,  the 
founder  of  the  khedival  dynasty.  He  began  this 
grand  structure  of  pure  alabaster,  and  it  encloses  his 
tomb.  There  is  a  well  in  the  citadel,  280  feet 
deep,  called  "  Joseph's  Well,"  after  Saladin,  who 
was  named  in  Arabic  Joussoof,  meaning  Joseph.  It 

is  constructed  in  two  portions,  the  upper  being  an 
VOL.  11—33 


514  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

oblong  square,  24  by  18  feet  and  155  feet  deep,  and 
the  lower  of  similar  shape,  51  by  9  feet  and  125  feet 
deep.  The  brackish  water  is  not  used  for  drinking, 
and  is  raised  from  the  lower  well  into  a  basin  at  the 
bottom  of  the  upper  well,  whence  it  is  conveyed, 
when  wanted,  to  the  citadel  above.  This  strong- 
hold formerly  controlled  the  city,  but  is  now  itself 
commanded  by  the  higher  ridge  at  the  rear,  so  that 
it  is  not  impregnable  in  modern  warfare. 

Within  the  citadel  was  given  the  banquet  to  which 
had  been  invited  the  Mameluke  chiefs  to  be  ruth- 
lessly massacred,  only  one  marvellously  escaping,  by 
leaping  on  horseback,  over  the  parapet,  to  the  hill 
slope  sixty  feet  below,  and  having  his  horse  killed  by 
the  fall.  The  dragoman  who  guides  the  tourist  tells 
the  story,  and  proves  it  by  showing  the  impression  of 
the  horse's  hoofs  on  the  stone  coping  of  the  parapet 
wall.  From  this  wall  there  is  a  splendid  view  over 
the  city  and  its  environment,  with  the  distant  pyra- 
mids, standing  alongside  the  Nile,  which  can  be 
traced,  in  silvery  course,  far  away  southward.  At 
the  foot  of  the  citadel  hill  is  the  old  Mosque  of 
Sultan  Ahmed,  built  of  sandstone  taken  out  of  the 
pyramids,  a  beautiful  but  partly  ruined  structure. 
Cairo  is  famous  for  its  mosques,  of  which  there  are 
said  to  be  fully  five  hundred,  many,  however,  being 
in  dilapidation.  The  impressive  domes  and  elegant 
minarets  of  these  mosques  rise  in  all  directions,  and 
several  of  the  structures  are  superb  specimens  of 


CAIRO  THE  VICTORIOUS  515 

Arabian  architecture.  The  most  noted  is  the 
Mosque  of  Sultan  Hassan,  dating  from  the  four- 
teenth century,  and  not  far  from  the  citadel,  the 
architecture  being  graceful  and  the  ornamentation 
superb.  It  has  a  magnificent  entrance,  beautifully 
embellished  with  honeycombed  tracery.  The  in- 
terior is  a  roofless  court,  having  on  each  side  a 
square  recess,  crowned  by  a  noble  arch.  The  prayer 
niche  at  the  eastern  end  is  adjoined  by  a  pulpit, 
with  colored  glass  vases  of  Syrian  workmanship, 
and  having  the  name  of  the  sultan  displayed  on 
either  side.  Behind  this,  and  forming  a  portion  of 
the  edifice,  built  of  stone  and  surmounted  by  a  dome, 
is  the  sultan's  tomb,  where  a  Koran  is  always  kept. 
He  expended  $3,000  daily,  for  three  years,  in  erect- 
ing this  building,  and  the  story  is  told,  that  he  cut 
off  the  architect's  hands  when  it  was  completed,  so 
that  he  could  not  construct  another  like  it. 

The  Mosque  of  Tulun  is  the  oldest  in  Cairo,  built 
in  the  ninth  century,  and  before  the  city  was 
founded.  It  is  copied  after  the  sacred  Kaaba  in 
Mecca,  and  was  outside  the  city  limits,  until  Saladin 
extended  the  walls  around  it.  .This  is  regarded  as  a 
true  representative  of  the  earlier  mosques,  and  pre- 
sents types  of  the  pointed  arch,  afterward  intro- 
duced by  the  Moors  into  Europe.  It  stands  on  an 
elevation,  which  the  tradition  asserts  is  the  hill 
whereon  the  ark  rested  after  the  flood,  and  another 
legend  is  that  upon  this  spot  Abraham  was  about 


516  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

to  offer  Isaac  a  sacrifice  when  a  ram  was  oppor- 
tunely found  for  a  substitute.  The  Mosque  El 
Hakim  was  built  by  the  Fatimite  Caliph  Hakim, 
who  asserted  his  divine  mission,  and  founded  the 
sect  of  the  Druses;  its  minarets  are  very  attractive, 
and  it  is  noted  as  having  been  fortified  during  Na- 
poleon's occupation.  Among  the  most  attractive 
mosques  is  Ibrahim  Aga,  the  "  Blue  Mosque,"  which 
has  a  forbidding  exterior,  but  within  is  the  most 
splendid  wall  decoration,  of  purple  and  blue,  in 
the  elaborate  tiling.  The  Mosque  El  Hazar,  or 
"  the  Splendid,"  is  celebrated  for  the  beauty  of  its 
architecture,  and  was  built  in  the  tenth  century. 
This  is  the  chief  university  of  the  Mohammedan 
world,  founded  in  the  tenth  century,  and  to  it 
students  come  from  all  parts  of  Islam,  for  the  study 
of  the  Koran  and  Arabian  literature.  It  presents 
a  remarkable  sight,  the  thousands  of  students,  most 
of  them  intending  to  become  priests  or  government 
officials,  crowding  its  generally  roofless  courts,  squat- 
ting cross-legged,  like  tailors,  on  the  floor,  with  pro- 
fessors lecturing  to  and  examining  them.  As  many 
as  fifteen  thousand  are  sometimes  in  attendance, 
particularly  in  the  early  morning.  Their  garb  is 
to  an  extent  picturesque,  but  generally  slovenly,  the 
drapery,  in  white,  blue  or  black,  being  carelessly 
thrown  around  the  body,  and  topped  with  a  white, 
blue  or  green  turban,  when  they  go  forth  in  slippers, 
bound  for  school.  They  are  bald-headed,  excepting 


CAIRO  THE  VICTORIOUS  517 

the  little  tuft  of  hair  on  top  of  the  crown,  which  is 
left  so  that  the  faithful  may  be  the  more  readily 
pulled  into  Paradise.  Another  fine  mosque  has  at- 
tached a  free  hospital  for  the  insane  and  helpless, 
which  always  is  well  populated.  Over  the  tombs  of 
the  Mamelukes,  outside  the  northeastern  walls,  and 
not  far  from  the  citadel,  are  built  in  their  memory 
a  number  of  beautiful  mosques.  As  it  is  the  cus- 
tom to  summon  all  the  people  to  prayer,  by  shouting 
from  the  tops  of  the  minarets  at  six  o'clock  in  the 
morning,  there  are  five  hundred  strong  voiced 
muezzins,  all  calling  the  faithful  to  their  devotions 
at  the  same  time,  and  the  Babel  may  be  imagined. 
At  the  other  hours  of  prayer,  throughout  the  day 
and  evening,  the  Mohammedan,  at  his  work,  in  the 
shop  or  the  street,  despite  the  crowds,  suddenly 
falls  on  his  knees,  looks  toward  Mecca,  and  sway- 
ing up  and  down  and  forward  and  backward,  says 
his  prayers.  There  is  no  fear  of  disturbance,  as 
the  act  of  prayer  is  devoutly  reverenced,  and  they  all 
do  it,  everywhere,  at  the  same  time. 

Seen  from  the  elevated  citadel,  Cairo  spreads  out 
like  a  map  on  the  broad  plain.  It  stretches  over 
to  and  across  the  Nile,  having  in  the  foreground  a 
maze  of  bazaars,  adjacent  to  the  ancient  highway 
of  the  Muski,  and  all  about  are  flat-roofed  and 
crumbling  houses  and  shady  green  courts.  Above 
them  rise  many  tapering  minarets  and  chiselled 
domes.  This  scene  gradually  extends  to  the  wider 


518  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

streets,  and  more  spacious  gardens,  of  the  newer 
West  End,  having  beyond  the  gleaming  silver 
streak  of  the  Nile,  and  at  the  distant  horizon,  the 
glory  of  the  setting  sun  in  a  cloudless  sky,  turning 
the  yellow  desert  into  gold.  Alongside  the  Nile 
are  the  old  parts  of  the  city,  the  original  towns  of 
Boulak  and  Fostat.  Here  are  some  ancient  grain 
storehouses,  still  used  for  that  purpose,  and  called 
the  "  Granary  of  Joseph."  Out  in  the  river,  on 
the  Eodah  Island,  is  the  celebrated  nilometer  of 
early  Egyptian  fame,  a  rude  graduated  column, 
erected  long  ago,  and  used  to  indicate  the  height  of 
the  river  level  during  the  period  of  inundation. 
The  tradition  is,  that  it  was  in  the  fringe  of  bul- 
rushes formerly  thickly  bordering  this  island  pha- 
raoh's  daughter  found  the  infant  Moses,  and  the  en- 
terprising Arabs,  with  an  eye  for  backsheesh,  now 
take  you  to  the  spot.  The  canal  that  formerly  con- 
nected the  Nile  with  the  Red  Sea  runs  from  Fostat 
through  part  of  the  city,  and  is  used  for  irrigation. 
There  is  also  an  aqueduct  carried  on  many  arches, 
which  conveys  water  to  the  citadel. 

The  visitor  to  Cairo  usually  seeks  the  quarter, 
which  is  yet  preserved  from  the  encroachment  of 
modern  improvement,  that  presents  medieval  Cairo 
in  its  original  charm.  This  is  located  between  the 
citadel  and  the  eastern  and  northern  walls,  where 
are  many  of  the  older  mosques.  In  it  are  the  narrow 
winding  crowded  lanes,  where  the  latticed  windows 


CAIRO  THE  VICTORIOUS  519 

of  the  houses  overhead  often  leave  but  a  small 
streak  of  sky  to  be  seen  above  them.  Here  are  a  be- 
wildering medley  of  Egyptians,  Turks,  Arabs  and 
Copts,  each  in  his  variegated  costume,  the  mass 
of  people,  camels,  donkeys  and  occasional  strangers 
surging  through,  and  the  restless  multitude  making 
all  sorts  of  noises  and  outcries.  There  is  plenty  of 
dirt  about,  without  which  the  Orient  would  be  less 
a  reality  than  an  artist's  fancy,  and  the  Americans 
and  Europeans,  though  only  a  small  minority  in  the 
crowds,  are  interested  onlookers.  The  picturesque 
costume  of  the  average  Moslem  will  scarcely  bear 
close  inspection,  the  grease  spots  on  the  turban  and 
the  faded  texture  of  the  robe  testifying  to  long  use, 
though  possibly  by  a  noble  ancestry.  In  fact,  the 
whole  scene  gives  an  impression  much  akin  to  a 
well-worn  Turkish  carpet,  needing  cleansing  and 
brightening.  The  Mooskee,  the  centre  of  the  ba- 
zaar district,  is  a  narrow,  crowded  street,  inter- 
sected by  a  maze  of  crooked  little  passageways 
not  over  three  or  four  feet  wide,  all  lined  with  small 
shops.  These  street  scenes,  with  the  bazaars  and 
mosques,  are  the  great  attractions  of  the  older  town. 
Among  the  curious  sights  is  the  carriage  runner  or 
sais.  These  are  employed  by  the  officials  and  the 
wealthy,  to  run  in  front  of  their  carriages,  and 
clear  the  way,  being  gaudily  dressed,  and  carrying 
a  gold-tipped  staff.  They  run  gracefully,  are  fine- 
looking,  and  shout  warnings  at  the  corners,  being  re- 


520  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

garded  much  like  footmen,  though  using  more 
active  exertion.  The  privilege  of  having  two  sais. 
running  side  by  side  is  regarded  as  a  mark  of  high 
dignity. 

Cairo  has  a  complete  development  of  modern 
fashionable  life,  and  has  long  been  a  most  popular 
winter  resort.  The  result  is  that  the  East  and  West 
are  thoroughly  commingled,  and  the  sojourning  pop- 
ulation is  widely  diversified.  In  the  variety,  a 
native  funeral  is  among  the  most  curious,  the 
screeching  of  the  hired  mourners  having  a  strange 
effect,  the  corpse,  on  a  bier,  being  borne  behind 
them  on  men's  shoulders,  and  from  the  pole  carried 
in  front  can  be  ascertained  the  sex  of  the  deceased. 
If  a  carved  or  real  fez  is  on  the  pole,  it  is  a  man, 
and  if  it  is  a  woman,  the  pole  is  crowned  by  some- 
thing representing  a  braid  of  hair.  In  the  wedding 
processions  the  bride  is  usually  carried  in  a  palan- 
quin between  two  ungainly,  jerky-motioned  camels. 
In  January  a  great  event  is  the  departure  of  the 
caravan,  bearing  the  "  Holy  Carpet,"  to  Mecca. 
This  is  a  ceremony  of  diplomatic  import,  which  at- 
tracts a  great  concourse.  In  the  procession,  numer- 
ous camels  bear  huge  burdens  of  handsome  rugs,  for 
gifts  to  tombs  in  Mecca,  and  the  "  Holy  Carpet " 
itself  is  a  pagoda-like  structure,  towering  high 
above  the  patient,  if  proud,  camel  carrying  it.  The 
khedive  solemnly  places  the  bridle  of  this  camel  in 
the  hand  of  its  driver,  as  he  starts  on  the  long 


CAIRO  THE  VICTORIOUS  521 

journey,  and  the  devout  say  that  when  the  camel 
gives  up  his  sacred  load  in  the  Holy  City  of  Mecca 
he  always  sheds  tears.  In  the  khedive's  receptions 
to  his  officials  there  is  great  solemnity  of  etiquette 
observed.  They  all  sit  around  the  walls  of  the 
apartment,  with  their  red  turbans  and  tabouches  on 
their  heads,  and  coats  tightly  buttoned.  Then  they 
are  handed  exquisite  Egyptian  coffee  in  wonderfully 
made  slender  cups,  having  sprinkled  among  the 
filigree  tracery  diamonds  and  other  precious  gems. 
The  siamboulis  who  pass  around  the  coffee  also  have 
their  coats  carefully  buttoned,  and  their  unoccupied 
hands  are  pressed  against  their  breasts.  This  coat- 
buttoning  and  hand-pressure  are  relics  of  the  old- 
time  etiquette,  when  assassination  was  feared.  The 
buttoned  coat  assures  the  inability  to  get  a  dagger 
from  an  inner  pocket,  and  the  pressure  of  the  free 
hand  to  the  heart  is  an  assurance  of  good  intention. 
The  Egyptian  Museum  of  Antiquities,  in  fine 
buildings  near  the  Nile,  contains  the  most  inter- 
esting and  valuable  collection  of  Egyptian  antiqui- 
ties in  the  world ;  and  there  is  also  an  attractive 
exhibition  of  art  works  and  curiosities  in  the  Arab 
Museum.  Among  the  adjacent  watering  places  are 
the  khedive's  baths  at  Helouan,  which  are  on  the 
Mokkatam  range  of  hills,  about  fifteen  miles  from 
the  city.  The  first  spring  here  was  discovered  in 
the  seventh  century,  being  named  after  Helouan, 
who  was  called  the  son  of  Babylon,  and  the  place, 


522  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

after  a  long  desuetude,  became,  in  the  last  century, 
.a  popular  resort  for  invalids  seeking  relief  from  its 
sulphur  waters.  The  late  Khedive  Tewfik  was  de- 
voted to  its  development.  Another  attractive  sub- 
urban place  on  the  northern  side  is  the  khedive's 
summer  palace  and  gardens  of  Shoobra,  reached  by 
a  beautiful  shady  avenue  of  sycamores  and  acacias-. 
Five  miles  away  from  Cairo  is  the  site  of  an- 
cient Heliopolis,  the  "  City  of  the  Sun,"  which  was 
the  Hebrew  On  of  the  Bible,  and  the  Egyptian  An. 
On  the  route  is  the  noble  sycamore  tree,  called  the 
"  Virgin's  tree,"  under  which  the  Holy  Family  is 
said  to  have  rested,  on  their  flight  into  Egypt. 
^Heliopolis  existed  under  the  old  Empire  of  Egypt, 
and  long  afterward  was  a  sacerdotal  city,  to  whose 
colleges  the  Greek  philosophers  came  for  instruc- 
tion by  the  Egyptian  priests.  Then  it  fell  into  de- 
cadence, and  now  all  that  remains  are  the  temple 
enclosure  and  the  obelisk.  There  are  ruins  of 
structures  within  the  enclosure,  but  they  are  not 
ancient,  being  the  remains  of  a  Coptic  settlement, 
the  original  Heliopolis  having  entirely  disappeared. 
When  Strabo  was  here,  he  found  only  ruins  and  a 
desert.  There  were  originally  two  obelisks,  one  of 
which  fell  and  was  broken  in  two  pieces,  but  long 
ago  disappeared.  The  obelisk  now  standing  is  the 
most  ancient  in  Egypt,  a  monolith  sixty-eight  feet 
high,  bearing  the  name  of  Usertesen  I,  founder  of 
the  twelfth  dynasty.  All  about  are  tombs,  and,  in 


THE  PYRAMIDS  AND  SPHYNX  523 

fact,  it  is  generally  accepted  that  the  Nile  Valley, 
for  sixty  miles  near  and  above  Cairo,  is  mostly  a 
vale  of  ancient  cities  and  tombs. 

Down  the  Nile,  northeast  from  Cairo,  is  the  bar- 
rage, begun  by  Mehemet  Ali  in  1835,  and  com- 
pleted under  English  management,  the  great  dam 
which  regulates  the  outflow  of  the  Nile  waters  over 
the  delta.  Two  weir-bridges,  about  3,000  feet  long, 
close  the  two  arms  of  the  river,  and  more  than  a 
hundred  iron  sluices  regulate  the  flow  of  water, 
there  being  swing-bridges,  at  the  extremities  of  the 
weirs,  for  the  passage  of  boats.  Between  the  two 
weirs,  an  alley  of  acacias  crosses  the  apex  of  the 
delta,  and  thus  unites  the  passageways  along  the 
tops  of  the  weirs,  while  stately  Norman  gateways 
rise  in  the  middle  and  at  the  extremity  of  each, 
giving  the  barrage  an  imposing  appearance.  Tow- 
ering over  all,  to  the  eastward  of  Cairo,  and  stretch- 
ing far  away  southward,  rises  the  long  ridge  of  the 
Mokkatam  mountain,  out  of  which,  for  ages,  the 
pharaohs  got  their  building  materials,  its  lime- 
stones being  used  for  the  pyramids.  From  its  sum- 
mit is  one  of  the  greatest  views  obtainable,  over  the 
Nile  Valley  and  its  majestic  monuments  of  the 
olden  time. 

THE    PYRAMIDS    AND    SPHYNX. 

Eight  miles  from  Cairo  are  the  wonderful  pyr- 
amids of  Gizeh,  which  are  regarded  as  the  most 


524  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

imposing  monuments  left  by  the  ancient  Egyptians. 
They  can  be  reached  by  carriage  road  and  -trol- 
ley, by  donkey,  camel  or  coach,  and  the  modern 
fashionable  hotel  at  their  foot  bears  the  name  of 
Mena,  from  Menes  the  founder  of  the  long  line  of 
pharaohs.  The  great  Nile  bridge  is  crossed,  and 
gradually  they  rise  higher  and  higher  in  view,  on 
the  approach.  The  three  pyramids  are  upon  a 
plateau  of  four  hundred  acres,  near  the  western 
bank  of  the  river,  and  elevated  about  one  hundred 
and  forty  feet  above  the  highest  water  level,  being 
not  far  apart,  and  standing  nearly  on  a  line  from 
northeast  to  southwest.  Their  four  sides  face  the 
cardinal  points  of  the  compass.  The  archaeologists 
have  demonstrated  that  each  pyramid  was  con- 
structed over  a  sepulchral  chamber  excavated  in  the 
rock,  and  that  the  work  was  done  during  the  life  of 
the  king  for  whose  tomb  it  was  intended.  While 
the  construction  went  on,  a  narrow  and  low  passage- 
way was  kept  open,  as  the  courses  of  stones  were 
laid,  by  which  access  was  had  from  the  outside  to 
the  central  chamber.  Upon  the  king's  death  the 
work  ceased,  and  the  last  layers  were  then  finished 
off  and  the  passageway  closed.  The  greater  part 
of  the  stone  came  from  the  quarries  in  the  Mokkatam 
range,  across  the  Nile,  and  the  outside  facings  were 
mostly  of  red  syenitic  granite  from  Assouan,  up  the 
river.  The  blocks  are  from  two  to  four  or  more 
feet  thick,  and  arranged  one  upon  the  other,  form- 


THE  PYRAMIDS  AXD  SPHYNX  525 

ing  steps  up  the  outer  slopes,  the  thickness  of  the 
stones  determining  the  height  of  these  steps. 
Nearer  the  top  are  the  thicker  stones,  but  these 
blocks  are  of  moderate  length,  compared  with  those 
near  the  base.  The  foundations  were  excavated  in 
the  solid  rock,  and  upon  this  the  great  stones  were 
arranged  and  built  up,  layer  after  layer,  and  one 
shell  succeeding  another,  the  spaces  within  being 
filled  with  smaller  stones  closely  packed.  To  quarry 
and  move  the  immense  blocks,  and  raise  them  to  their 
places,  required  no  little  engineering  skill,  and  in 
those  days  the  pharaohs  had  an  unlimited  amount 
of  labor  at  command. 

The  visitor,  after  the  usual  conflict  with  donkey 
boys  and  backsheesh-seeking  rascals,  gets  to  the  base 
of  the  "  Great  Pyramid  "  of  Cheops,  at  the  north- 
eastern angle,  where  the  worn  and  broken  stones 
offer  the  easiest  ascent.  The  steps  are  said  to  num- 
ber 208,  and  are  about  the  height  of  an  average 
table.  A  couple  of  barefooted,  nimble  Arabs  pull 
you  up  by  the  arms,  and  for  some  days  afterward 
sore  muscles  remind  of  the  unusual  exertion,  and 
you  are  very  glad  when,  reaching  the  top,  and  resting 
upon  the  twelve  large  stones  composing  it,  covered 
all  over  with  visitors'  names,  the  gorgeous  view  can 
be  taken  in  and  the  enormous  size  of  the  pyramid 
realized.  This  pyramid  of  Cheops  covers  nearly 
thirteen  acres.  Its  original  dimensions  have  been 
considerably  reduced  by  the  early  Arabs,  who  removed 


526  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  outer  portions  to  furnish  building  stone  for  Cairo. 
Thus  despoiled,  the  walls  lost  their  smooth  surface, 
which  sloped  at  an  angle  of  nearly  52°.  It  was 
the  stripping  off  of  this  outer  casing,  which  left  the 
stones  in  their  present  condition  of  rugged  steps. 
Originally,  the  pyramid  was  composed  of  eighty-nine 
millions  of  cubic  feet  of  masonry,  and  now  there  are 
about  eighty-two  millions.  It  is  now  450  feet  high 
and  was  479  feet  high.  The  sides  are  746  feet  long 
compared  with  764  feet  originally.  There  are  over 
six  millions  of  tons  of  stone  in  the  vast  structure, 
and  about  2,300,000  separate  blocks.  All  these  had 
to  be  transported  across  the  Nile,  and  Over  the 
valley  to  the  plateau,  and  it  was  done  by  slave  labor, 
mostly  captives,  and  the  tillers  of  the  soil,  when  the 
Nile  inundation  prevented  work  in  the  fields.  The 
pharaohs  had  unlimited  command  of  labor,  and  ac- 
cording to  Herodotus,  a  hundred  thousand  men  were 
employed  on  this  pyramid,  during  .the  three  months 
of  the  inundation,  and  this  was  continued  for  twenty 
years. 

The  only  entrance  to  the  Great  Pyramid  is  on 
the  northern  face,  about  fifty  feet  above  the  base,  a 
passage  of  33/2  by  4  feet  going  down  a  slope  at  an 
angle  of  26°  41',  for  a  distance  of  321  feet  to  the 
king's  sepulchral  chamber,  and  it  has  been  noted 
that  the  observer  within,  looking  out  of  the  passage, 
is  in  line  with  the  North  Star.  The  passage  is 
extended  52  feet  farther  into  the  rock.  The  cham- 


Copyright  by  Underwood  A   Underwood 

View  from  the   Summit  of  the   Great   Pyramid 
Eastward  over  the  Valley  of  the  Nile. 


THE  PYRAMIDS  AND  SPHYNX        527 


ber  is  46  feet  long,  27  feet  wide,  and 
high.  The  entrance  passage,  after  penetrating  63 
feet  within,  the  pyramid,  connects  with  an  ascending 
branch  passage,  at  an  angle  of  26°  going  126  feet, 
when  its  course  becomes  level,  and  goes  109  feet 
further.  This  connects  with  several  chambers  and 
passages,  the  principal  being  the  queen's  chamber, 
almost  in  the  centre  of  the  pyramid,  and  67  feet 
above  its  base.  This  chamber  is  17  by  19  feet, 
and  20  feet  high,  with  a  fine  groined  roof.  The 
king's  chamber  is  a  plain  and  bare  room,  lined 
with  red  granite,  highly  polished,  single  stones 
reaching  from  the  floor  to  the  ceiling,  which  is 
formed  of  nine  large  slabs  of  polished  granite, 
extending  from  wall  to  wall.  The  sparkle  of  the 
granite  in  this  famous  chamber  is  exhibited  in  the 
darkness,  by  the  flashes  of  light  from  burning  mag- 
nesium wires.  It  contains  only  an  empty  sar- 
cophagus of  red  granite,  which  is  not  very  inter- 
esting. Visitors  have  scribbled  their  names  all  over 
the  walls.  The  sarcophagus  is  so  large  that  it  ev- 
idently was  placed  in  the  room  when  it  was  con- 
structed, as  it  could  not  be  brought  through  the  small 
entrance  passage.  The  chamber  is  said  to  have 
originally  contained  a  wooden  coffin  with  the 
mummy  of  the  king,  which  disappeared  wrhen  the 
pyramids  were  first  opened  and  plundered  by  the 
Arabs.  The  view  from  the  top  of  the  pyramid  is 
over  the  almost  level  garden  of  the  Nile  Valley,  as 


528  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

far  as  one  can  see,  green  and  fresh,  but  bordered 
everywhere  by  the  desert.  Both  north  and  south 
are  groups  of  pyramids  and  tombs,  reminding  that 
this  is  one  of  the  greatest  burial  places  in  the  world. 
A  short  distance  north  are  the  -smaller  pyramids  of 
Abu  Roasch,  of  the  fourth  dynasty,  tumbling  into 
ruin.  To  the  south  are  the  pyramids  of  Abusir,  and 
the  most  ancient  of  all,  the  Step  Pyramid  of 
Sakkara,  with  the  Dashur  group  in  the  distance,  and 
others  farther  away.  Here  are  the  vast  aggregation 
of  tombs  of  kings  and  princes,  priests,  nobles  and 
sacred  bulls,  with  queens'  and  court  ladies,  who 
ruled  the  old  empire,  forty  to  sixty  centuries  ago. 
At  our  feet,  on  the  plain,  is  the  battlefield  of  the 
pyramids,  where  Napoleon's  troops  repelled  and 
conquered  the  Mameluke  horsemen.  To  the  east- 
ward, the  fertile  valley  is  dotted  with  Arab  villages, 
the  river  flowing  away,  toward  the  great  city, 
crowned  by  the  citadel  mosque,  and  the  Mokkatam 
hills  forming  the  background.  To  the  westward 
stretches  the  vast  Lybian  desert. 

The  second  pyramid,  King  Chephren's,  appears 
larger  than  the  first,  because  it  is  built  on  a  base 
thirty-three  feet  higher  than  that  of  the  Great  Pyr- 
amid. Originally,  its  sides  measured  about  708 
feet,  and  its  height  was  454  feet,  but  now  the  sides 
are  reduced  to  691  feet,  and  the  height  to  about  447 
feet,  the  angle  of  slope  being  52°.  It  has  two  en- 
trances, each  leading  to  the  same  sepulchral  chamber 


THE  PYRAMIDS  AND  SPHYNX        529 

bj  an  inclined  passage  approximating  100  feet  in 
length.  This  chamber  is  about  46  by  16  feet,  and 
19  feet  high,  with  a  pyramidal  roof,  and  contains 
a  granite  sarcophagus.  The  only  remains  found 
here  were  of  a  bull.  This  pyramid  is  seldom  as- 
cended by  visitors,  as  the  original  stone  casing  is 
intact  on  the  upper  portion,  and  is  difficult  to  climb. 
The  top  platform  is  much  smaller  than  that  of  the 
Great  Pyramid.  On  April  15,  1905,  this  pyramid 
was  struck  by  lightning,  a  very  rare  occurrence  here, 
and  several  pieces  of  stone  knocked  off  the  top.  The 
third  pyramid  is  only  203  feet  high  and  354  feet 
square.  The  original  height  was  219  feet.  There 
is  a  tradition  that  one  of  the  Arab  caliphs  of  Egypt 
got  the  idea  that  an  evil  spirit  dwelt  in  this  pyr- 
amid, and  he  put  a  large  force  at  work  tearing  it 
down.  After  laboring  three  months,  he  abandoned 
the  work,  and  the  ruin  wrought  was  so  compara- 
tively small  as  to  be  unnoticeable.  Within  this 
pyramid  was  found  a  highly  finished  sarcophagus, 
a  mummy  case  bearing  the  name  of  King  Menkaura, 
its  builder,  and  the  body  of  a  workman,  the  mummy 
case  and  body  now  being  in  the  British  Museum. 
While  the  smallest  of  the  three  pyramids,  this  shows 
the  best  workmanship  of  all.  There  are  several 
smaller  pyramids  near  by,  supposed  fo  have  been 
tombs  of  relatives  of  the  kings,  and  also  a  vast  num- 
ber of  other  sepulchres,  some  of  the  tomb-chambers 

being  built  above  the  surface,  some  excavated  in  the 
VOL.  11—34 


530  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

rock,  and  others  in  subterranean  channels.  For 
ages,  the  strong  westerly  winds  that  generally  pre- 
vail here  have  carried  particles  of  sand  from  the 
desert,  and  deposited  them  around  the  tombs  and 
pyramids,  so  that  the  original  base  of  Cheops  is 
twenty  to  thirty  feet  below  the  present  surface. 

Similarly,  the  sand  storms  have  almost  engulfed 
the  other  wonderful  monument  of  ancient  Egypt, 
the  Sphynx,  which  stands  near  the  pyramids.  It 
has  been  repeatedly  dug  out,  but  the  winds  con- 
tinually fill  up  the  excavation.  From  remote  an- 
tiquity, figures  of  the  Sphynx  were  used  in  Egypt 
to  embellish  the  avenues  forming  the  approaches  to 
temples,  these  figures  usually  having  the  head  of  a 
man,  with  cap  and  beard,  and  the  body  of  a  lion. 
Plutarch  recorded  that  they  were  placed  before  the 
temples,  as  types  of  the  mysterious  nature  of  the 
deity  worshipped  there.  This  great  Sphynx  at  the 
pyramids  was  sculptured  before  they  were  built,  as 
indicated  by  an  inscription.  The  Egyptians  called 
it  Hor-em-Jchu,  or  the  "  Setting  Sun,"  the  name  of 
the  god  to  whom  it  was  dedicated,  and  this  name  is 
translated  by  the  Greeks  as  Armachis.  It  is  near 
the  eastern  edge  of  the  plateau  on  which  the  pyr- 
amids stand,  about  300  feet  east  of  the  second 
pyramid,  and  its  head  is  turned  toward  the  Nile. 
The  Arabs  call  it  AbuSl-Hol,  the  "  Father  of  Ter- 
ror." It  has  suffered  vastly  from  the  ravages  of 
time  and  vandalism,  but  is  a  noble  and  majestic 


THE  PYRAMIDS  AND  SPHYNX       531 

figure.  The  head,  from  the  top  to  the  chin,  meas- 
ures 28^  feet,  and  the  body  is  that  of  a  lion  crouch- 
ing closely  to  the  ground,  and  is  146  feet  long,  meas- 
uring 36  feet  across  the  shoulders,  the  paws 
extending  about  fifty  feet  in  front.  These  paws  are 
of  masonry,  but  all  the  rest  of  the  Sphynx  seems  to 
have  been  carved  out  of  the  solid  rock.  Between 
the  paws  was  built  a  small  temple,  and  near  it  was 
discovered  a  larger  temple,  buried  in  the  sand,  and 
supposed  to  have  been  dedicated  to  the  worship  of 
the  divinity  of  the  Sphynx.  The  countenance 
is  now  so  much  mutilated,  partly  by  vandalism, 
and  partly  by  the  sand  blasts,  that  have  blown 
for  ages  across  it,  that  the  outline  of  the  features 
is  only  traced  with  difficulty.  The  head  had 
been  covered  with  a  cap,  of  which  the  lower 
part  remains,  and  there  was  a  beard,  the  frag- 
ments having  fallen  below.  Immediately  under  the 
breast  stood  a  granite  tablet,  containing  a  repre- 
sentation of  Thothmes  IV,  offering  incense,  and  a 
libation  to  the  Sphynx,  with  a  long  hieroglyphic 
inscription  reciting  the  titles  of  that  king  and  his 
labors  at  the  Sphynx.  On  the  paws  were  inscrip- 
tions of  the  Roman  days,  expressing  adoration  of 
the  Sphynx  and  of  the  Egyptian  deities. 

Several  times  attempts  have  been  made  to  solve 
the  mystery  of  the  Sphynx,  which  was  puzzling  the 
Egyptians  even  when  the  Great  Pyramid  was  built. 
Thothmes  dug  down  as  far  as  he  was  able,  so  as  to 


532  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

construct  the  small  temple  between  tlie  paws,  and 
placed  there  the  tablet  telling  of  his  work.  This 
was  hidden  until  1818,  when  an  English  savant 
undertook  the  task  of  digging,  and  uncovered  the 
temple  and  the  inscription,  but  the  hieroglyphics 
were  a  puzzle,  until  M.  Champollion  managed  to 
translate  them.  The  tablet  recorded  that  Thothmes, 
before  ascending  the  throne  of  his  ancestor,  was 
hunting  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  pyramids,  and 
worn  out  by  the  heat  and  his  exertions  lay  down 
in  the  shadow  of  the  Sphynx,  then  covered  to  the 
neck  with  sand,  and  fell  asleep.  In  his  dreams,  he 
saw  the  great  carved  lips  of  the  statue  open,  and 
they  spoke  to  him,  calling  him  son,  and  saying  it 
was  his  father,  Hor-em-Jchu;  then  adding,  "  The 
sands  of  the  desert  have  covered  me;  I  wish  to  be 
free.  Promise  me  that  you  will  clear  the  sands 
away,  and  I  shall  know  that  you  are  indeed  my  son, 
and  worthy  to  be  the  mighty  ruler  of  my  people  in 
the  years  to  come."  This  led  Thothmes  to  excavate 
the  Sphynx,  and  erect  the  tablet  of  his  achieve- 
ments. Pliny  recorded  that  the  Sphynx  covered  a 
king's  tomb,  and  to  discover  this  was  the  object  of 
the  excavation  of  1818,  but  none  was  found.  In 
1896,  Colonel  George  E.  Eaum,  of  San  Erancisco, 
made  another  attempt  to  dig  out  the  Sphynx  and 
employed  a  hundred  men  at  the  work.  He  cleared 
out  a  hole  in  the  top  of  the  head  to  seven  feet 
depth,  and  excavated  a  shaft  at  the  back  for  twenty- 


THE  PYRAMIDS  AND  SPHYNX  533 

five  feet,  finding  two  passages  at  the  bottom  running 
respectively  northwest  and  southwest.  Then  he  dug 
fifteen  feet  farther  down,  finding  the  bottom 
blocked  with  stones,  which  the  authorities  would  not 
let  him  remove.  Then  a  German  company  under- 
took to  excavate  the  sand,  but  they  too  desisted. 
Recently  another  excavation  has  begun,  under  the 
auspices  of  the  Egyptian  government.  Most  of  the 
digging  heretofore,  has  been  down  the  front  of  the 
Sphynx,  revealing  the  massive  breast  and  huge 
paws.  Nothing  has  been  done  to  clear  away  the 
sands  enclosing  the  sides,  and  the  winds  constantly 
add  to  these,  and  fill  up  the  pits  that  are  dug,  it 
being  impossible  to  keep  out  the  drifting  sands  of  the 
almost  universal  desert. 

The  eminent  Egyptian  antiquarian,  Mariette,  was 
convinced  that  the  Sphynx  was  much  older  than  the 
Pyramids,  and  believed  that  if  the  space  about  it 
were  cleared  the  lion-statue  would  be  found  crouch- 
ing in  the  centre  of  a  great  amphitheatre,  and  gaz- 
ing out  at  the  Xile,  marking  the  grave,  probably,  of 
the  mighty  Menes  himself.  It  was  originally  col- 
ored red,  but  this  long  ago  was  worn  off.  The 
broken  nose  and  mutilated  features  were  due  partly 
to  the  vandalism  of  the  Mamelukes,  who,  to  learn  to 
aim  their  cannon,  when  Napoleon  came  to  attack 
them,  trained  the  guns  upon  the  Sphynx,  and  thus 
battered  and  scarred  the  majestic  countenance. 

All  visitors  speak  of  the  solemn  weirdness  of  the 


534  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

spectacle  of  Sphinx  and  pyramids  at  sunrise  and  sun- 
set. The  greatest  view  of  all,  however,  is  when  the 
full  moon,  under  the  bright  Egyptian  sky,  floods  them 
with  light,  at  once  making  them  harmonious  in  out- 
line and  clearer  to  the  eye.  The  moonbeams  veil 
the  scars  of  the  vandals,  the  desert  becomes  beau- 
tiful, and  the  grand  spectacle  of  pyramids  and 
Sphynx  deepens  in  majesty  no  less  than  in  mystery. 
Henry  Howard  Brownell,  the  New  England  poet, 
thus  invokes  the  Sphynx: 

They  glare  —  those  stony  eyes! 

That  in  the  fierce  sun-rays 
Showered  from  these  burning  skies, 
Through  untold  centuries 

Have  kept  their  sleepless  and  unwinking  gaze. 

Those  sullen  orbs   wouldst  thou   eclipse, 
And  ope  those  massy  tomb-like  lips, 
Many  a  riddle  thou  couldst  solve 
Which  all  blindly  men  revolve. 

Would  she  but  tell!     She  knows 
Of  the  old  pharaohs, 
Could  count  the  Ptolemies'  long  linej 
Each  mighty  myth's  original  hath  seen 
Apis,  Anubis  —  ghosts  that  haunt  between 

The  Bestial  and  Divine  — 
(Such,  He  that  sleeps  in  Philse  —  He  that  stands 

In  gloom,  unworshipped,  'neath  his  rock-hewn  fane  — 
And  they,  who,  sitting  on  Memnonian  sands, 

Cast  their  long  shadows  o'er  the  desert  plain:) 
Hath  marked  Nitocris  pass, 
And  Ozymandias. 

Deep-versed  in  many  a  dark  Egyptian  wile; 
The  Hebrew  boy  hath  eyed 


THE  PYRAMIDS  AND  SPHYNX  535 

Cold  to  the  master's  bride; 

And  that  Medusan  stare  hath  frozen  the  smile 
Of  her  all  love  and  guile 

For  whom  the  Csesar  sighed, 

And  the  World-Loser  died  — 
The  Darling  of  the  Nile. 


A  VOYAGE  ON  THE  NILE 


XV, 
A  VOYAGE  ON  THE  NILE 

Bedrashan — Memphis — the  Serapeum — Sakkara — Tombs  and 
Mastabas — Medum — the  Fayoum — Birket  el  Keroon — Bahr 
Yosef — Lake  Moeris — The  Shadoof  and  Sakiyeh — Gebel-et- 
Ter — Minyeh — Beni-Hasan — Roda — Antinoe — Tell-el-Amarna 
— Gebel  Abulfeda — Monfalut — Maabdeh — Assiout — Baliana — 
Abydos — Nag  Hamadi — Hou — Denderah — Keneh — Thebes — 
Luxor — Karnak — Kurna — Tombs  of  the  Kings — Der-el-Bahri 
— Medinet  Habu — Tombs  of  the  Queens — the  Ramesseum — 
the  Vocal  Memnon— Esne— El  Kab— Edfu— Silsileb— Kom 
Ombo — Assouan — the  First  Cataract — Elephantine — the  Great 
Dam — the  Quarries — Grenfell's  Tombs — Philae — Kalabsheh — 
Korosko — Abu  Simbel — Wady  Haifa — the  Second  Cataract — 
Abousir — Semneh — Atbara — Khartoum — Omdurman — A  King 
in  Egypt. 

THE   ANCIENT    EGYPTIAN    CAPITAL. 

And  now  the  winds  that  southward  blow 

Bear  me  away!     I  see  below 

The  long  line  of  the  Libyan  Nile; 

Osiris,  holding  in  his  hand 

The  lotus;   Isis,  crowned  and  veiled; 

The  sacred  Ibis,  and  the  Sphynx; 

Lamps  that  perchance  their  night-watch  kept 

O'er  Cleopatra  while  she  slept, 

All  plundered  from  the  tombs  of  kings. 

Thus  wrote  Longfellow,  as  he  contemplated  the 
wonders   that    are   disclosed   by   a   journey   up   the 
539 


540  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Nile.  The  most  satisfactory  way  of  making  a 
survey  of  the  interesting  remains  surviving  from 
ancient  Egypt  is  by  a  voyage  on  the  great  river. 
A  railway  has  been  constructed  up  the  Nile  Valley, 
and  the  modern  sleeping  car  will  take  the  hurried 
traveller  from  Cairo  to  Luxor  (Thebes),  454  miles, 
in  a  night,  the  railway  going  a  hundred  miles  far- 
ther on  to  the  great  dam  at  Assouan  and  beyond. 
But  the  leisurely  river  voyage  is  the  plan  for  the 
tourist.  It  can  be  made  on  one  of  the  river  steamers 
or  on  a  native  dahabeali ,  or  house-boat,  which  halts 
or  moves  at  will.  As  the  journey  progresses,  stops 
are  made  at  the  various  places  of  interest,  and  all 
the  attractions  and  wonders  of  old  and  new  Egypt 
can  be  examined.  Months  may  be  occupied  on  the 
voyage  if  desired.  The  Nile  is  almost  without 
storms,  and  is  seldom  rough.  From  winter  to  early 
summer,  the  north  wind  almost  steadily  blows,  with 
enough  force  to  drive  a  sailing  boat  against  the 
gentle  current,  and  at  the  same  time  this  same  cur- 
rent will  drift  the  boat  northward,  against  the  wind, 
excepting  when  it  blows  a  gale.  The  ddlidbeah  has 
one  great  lateen  sail,  attached  to  a  yard  of  enor- 
mous length,  and  on  a  high  deck  over  the  cabins, 
provided  with  easy  chairs,  and  usually  decorated 
with  plants  and  flowers,  the  tourist  company  enjoys 
the  outlook  over  the  river  and  its  shores.  As  mod- 
ern science  has  developed  the  motor-boat,  its  powers 
are  now  brought  into  use,  so  that  all  kinds  of  craft 


THE  ANCIENT  EGYPTIAN  CAPITAL  541 

are  availed  of  for  the  river  voyage  and  the  traveller 
may  choose  that  which  pleases  him  best. 

The  sparkling  Xile  is  full  of  life  and  movement, 
a  busy  river  carrying  a  vast  trade.  But  it  is  a 
peculiar  river,  and  unlike  any  other  in  the  world, 
there  being  neither  picnic  grounds,  nor  shady  nooks, 
nor  pretty  villages  along  its  banks.  Its  valley .  is 
bordered,  on  either  hand,  by  bare  yellow  hills,  where 
irrigation  has  not  yet  converted  the  desert  into  a 
garden,  as  on  the  lower  surfaces.  There  are  many 
spots  of  green,  groups  of  palms,  and  clusters  of 
Arab  huts.  The  women  come  down  to  the  shore 
and  fill  their  goolahs,  which  are  heavy  earthen  jars, 
with  water,  carrying  the  goolah  home  poised  on  their 
heads.  Bronzed  men  toil  at  the  rude  shadoofs,  by 
which  water  is  lifted  on  long  poles,  with  jars  on 
the  ends,  and  emptied  into  troughs  above,  to  supply 
the  irrigation  ditches,  the  men  singing  as  they  work, 
under  the  unchecked  rays  of  the  burning  sun. 
Swinging  camels  pass  along  with  their  swaying 
riders.  Boatmen  glide  over  the  water  in  all  direc- 
tions, the  lovely  blue  sky  arching  over  them.  Peli- 
cans stand  in  the  sand,  or  manosuvre  gracefully  in 
the  air,  and  kingfishers  dart  under  the  wave,  to 
seize  the  passing  fish.  The  crocodile  used  to  be  in 
evidence,  but  is  not  now,  excepting  far  off  in  the 
upper  waters.  When  the  ancient  Nile  shores  were 
lined  with  reeds  and  papyrus,  he  was  here,  but  all 
have  disappeared  in  the  development  of  cultivation 


542  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

on  the  river  banks.  And  as  the  voyage  progresses, 
there  are  added  the  splendid  dawns  and  gorgeous 
sunsets,  that  make  so  much  of  the  charm  of 
Nile  scenery,  in  its  unclouded  glory.  The  whole 
sky,  from  zenith  to  horizon,  becomes  a  sea  of  color 
and  fire,  reflected  in  each  crimson  wave  and  ripple, 
the  gorgeous  display  at  sunset  going  gradually  off 
to  the  west,  and  being  followed  by  a  softer  sheen, 
overspreading  the  eastern  hills,  until  dark  night 
comes  to  end  the  charming  spectacle. 

Thus  we  come,  on  the  upper  river  voyage,  to  the 
village  of  Bedrashan,  fifteen  miles  above  Cairo,  on 
the  western  shore,  and  landing  take  the  customary 
donkey  ride,  to  view  the  site  of  ancient  Memphis, 
now  mostly  heaps  of  sand  and  mounds  of  rubbish. 
This  was  the  first  capital,  and  the  greatest  city  of 
Egypt,  from  the  days  of  the  founder,  Menes,  until 
superseded  by  the  growing  power  of  Thebes,  and 
it  continued  to  be  the  largest  city  until  Alexandria 
eclipsed  it.  The  name  comes  from  Md-en^ptah,  the 
"  abode  of  Ptah,"  being  called  in  the  Coptic  dia- 
lect, Manfi,  "  the  abode  of  the  Good  One  "  supposed 
to  refer  to  Osiris,  and  in  the  Scriptures  it  is  de- 
scribed as  Naph  or  Noph.  Its  situation  commanded 
the  southern  entrance  to  the  delta,  and  it  was  pro- 
tected by  a  dyke  from  the  Nile  inundations.  Dio- 
dorus  described  Memphis  as  remarkable  for  its  fine 
climate  and  the  beauty  of  the  view  from  its  walls, 
which  were  seventeen  miles  in  circuit.  It  controlled 


THE  ANCIENT  EGYPTIAN  CAPITAL  543 

all  the  trade  of  the  Xile,  was  the  chief  seat  of 
early  learning  and  religion,  the  principal  place  of 
the  worship  of  Ptah,  and  the  official  residence  of 
the  sacred  bull  Apis,  whose  temple  here  was  cele- 
brated for  the  grand  colonnades,  through  which 
elaborate  religious  processions  were  conducted. 
The  other  great  temples  at  Memphis  were  that  of 
Isis,  commenced  at  a  very  early  period  and  com- 
pleted in  the  sixth  century  B.  C.,  the  Temple  of 
Serapis,  the  Temple  of  Ra,  the  sun-god,  and  the 
Temple  of  Ptah,  the  most  ancient  of  all  and  the 
largest  and  most  elaborate.  Memphis  was  the  seat 
of  the  eight  earliest  Egyptian  dynasties,  the  fourth 
being  the  builders  of  the  pyramids,  and  it  was  also 
the  capital  during  the  supremacy  of  the  Shepherd 
Kings.  It  suffered  severely  from  the  Persians,  who 
savagely  avenged  the  murder  of  their  herald  by  the 
Memphians,  Cambyses  compelling  Psammetik  III, 
the  king,  to  kill  himself,  slaying  the  sacred  bull 
Apis  with  his  own  hand,  massacring  the  priests, 
and  profaning  the  Temple  of  Ptah.  It  was  made 
the  Persian  capital  of  their  African  possessions,  and 
continued  for  centuries  the  chief  city,  until  Alex- 
andria took  its  trade  and  it  then  gradually  declined. 
In  the  course  of  ages,  Memphis  sank  into  such 
utter  decay  that  its  site,  overwhelmed  by  the  drift- 
ing sands,  became  a  subject  of  dispute.  Its  iden- 
tity was  thus  completely  lost,  when  in  1850  the 
distinguished  savant,  Auguste  Edouard  Mariette, 


544  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

was  sent  by  the  French  government  to  Egypt,  and 
after  a  study  of  the  situation  became  the  modern 
discoverer  of  Memphis.  He  excavated  the  site,  and 
found  the  Serapeum,  the  Temple  of  Serapis,  which 
had  been  described  by  Strabo.  This  great  structure 
of  granite  and  alabaster  contained,  within  its  en- 
closure, the  sarcophagi  of  the  sacred  bulls  of  Apis 
from  the  nineteenth  dynasty  to  the  time  of  the 
Roman  occupation  before  the  death  of  Cleopatra. 
The  uncovered  remains  extend  over  a  large  surface, 
with  ruins  of  temples  and  palaces,  two  thousand 
sphynxes  in  the  long  avenues,  several  thousand 
statues,  reliefs  and  inscriptions,  and  many  other  sur- 
vivals of  the  vast  ancient  city.  Mariette  made  other 
important  Egyptian  explorations  at  Thebes  and 
elsewhere,  was  the  founder  of  the  museum  at  Cairo, 
and  in  its  grounds  his  body  rests.  In  more  recent 
excavations  at  Memphis,  by  the  archaeologist,  Pro- 
fessor Flinders  Petrie,  there  have  been  disclosed  the 
"  foreign  quarter  "  of  the  city,  with  heads  of  for- 
eigners modeled  in  terra  cotta,  showing  by  their 
portraiture  that  various  neighboring  and  even  dis- 
tant races  came  to  Egypt.  There  are  figures  and 
portraitures  of  Persian  princes,  Scythian  horse- 
men, Greeks,  Cossacks,  Syrians  and  East  Indians 
from  Asia.  This  discloses  the  far-reaching  foreign 
intercourse  of  the  dynasties  of  ancient  Memphis. 
In  1909,  the  work  of  the  British  School  of  Ar- 
chaeology uncovered  the  palace  of  King  Apries,  the 


THE  ANCIENT  EGYPTIAN  CAPITAL  545 

Biblical  Pharaoh  Hophra  of  the  sixth  and  seventh 
centuries  B.  C.,  who  was  contemporary  with  Jere- 
miah. It  was  400  by  200  feet,  with  walls  fifteen 
feet  thick,  and  columns  forty  feet  high,  and  sur- 
rounded a-  quadrangle,  with  interior  court  a  hun- 
dred feet  square.  There  were  found  in  the  ruins 
bronze  figures  of  the  gods,  chiefly  of  Hathor,  and 
scale  armor. 

The  donkey  ride  of  the  modern  visitors  soon 
brings  them  to  the  grand  but  prostrate  statue  of 
Rameses  II,  lying  among  the  palms  and  gazing  up 
to  the  sky,  while  a  short  distance  farther  on  is  a 
still  larger  recumbent  Rameses,  surrounded  and 
almost  covered  by  a  mud  hut.  The  first  statue  is 
Sl1/^  feet  long,  including  the  crown,  and  the  other 
is  42  feet  long,  a  powerful  figure,  carefully  and 
minutely  carved,  the  enclosing  hut  being  constructed 
to  protect  it  from  the  mutilating  tourist.  Both 
of  these  colossal  figures  have  a  remarkable  likeness 
to  the  mummy  of  the  great  Rameses,  which  is  in 
the  museum  at  Cairo.  The  mummy  is  that  of  a 
tall  man  with  gray  hair,  thin  beard  and  pierced  ears, 
and  it  lies  peacefully  at  rest.  This  famous  pha- 
raoh,  the  builder  of  temples  and  maker  of  an- 
cient Egyptian  history,  has  his  lips  firmly  closed 
and  his  hands  folded  across  his  breast,  the  high 
forehead  and  strong  nose  testifying  his  capa- 
bilities. These  two  statues  above  mentioned  orig- 
inally stood  together  at  the  entrance  of  the  Temple 
VOL.  11—35 


546  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

of  Ptah.  There  is  not  much  else  left  of  the  once 
famous  city,  because  the  Arabs  carried  about  all  the 
available  stone  down  the  Nile  to  build  Fostat  and 
Cairo. 

The  wondering  tourist  passes  on,  through  a  flat 
country,  bordered  by  desert  hills,  and  with  nearly 
a  dozen  pyramids  in  sight,  to  the  Arab  village  of 
Sakkara,  the  name  now  given  to  the  vast  cemetery, 
which  was,  during  centuries,  the  burial  place  for 
Memphis.  This  great  necropolis,  spreading  far 
along  the  Nile,  was  the  place  of  interment  of  the 
people  for  at  least  five  thousand  years,  and  is 
thought  to  have  been  the  sepulchre  of  at  least 
seventy-five  millions.  Most  of  them  are  only  buried 
in  the  sand,  but  all  the  great  people  had  tombs,  and 
of  these  there  are  interesting  survivals,  seen  for 
many  miles.  The  most  famous  of  all,  next  to  the 
three  great  pyramids,  is  the  noted  Step  Pyramid 
of  Sakkara,  the  tomb  of  King  Zeser,  the  second 
pharaoh  of  the  third  dynasty,  built  about  4400 
B.  C.,  and  believed  to  be  the  oldest  structure  in  the 
world.  It  was  a  venerable  affair  when  Cheops  be- 
gan his  pyramid.  It  rises  in  five  huge  steps  to  a 
comparatively  small  apex,  but  is  gradually  crum- 
bling in  ruin.  Originally  it  was  a  rectangle  of 
351  feet  by  393  feet,  and  in  its  present  ruinous 
condition  it  rises  about  190  feet  from  the  desert. 
When  it  was  explored  the  mummies  of  kings  and 
Apis  bones  were  found  inside.  At  Dashour,  not 


THE  ANCIENT  EGYPTIAN  CAPITAL  547 

far  away,  is  a  group  of  five  pyramids,  two  built  of 
stone  and  three  of  rough  brick.  The  largest  of 
the  former  is  now  reduced  to  a  height  of  326  feet, 
and  the  base  is  about  700  feet  square.  At  Abousir 
are  fourteen  pyramids,  most  of  them  small  and  lit- 
tle more  than  heaps  of  rubbish,  only  two  being  over 
one  hundred  feet  high.  Under  American  auspices, 
an  expedition  from  the  Metropolitan  Museum  of 
New  York  is  excavating  the  two  pyramids  of  Ilsht, 
about  thirty-five  miles  south  of  Cairo,  one  being 
the  pyramid  of  Amenemhat  I,  and  the  other  of  his 
son,  Usertesen  I,  of  the  twelfth  dynasty.  The 
French  began  the  work  on  the  latter,  and  much  of 
the  mortuary  temples  of  the  pyramids,  facing  the 
Nile,  has  been  uncovered. 

This  universal  expanse  of  tombs,  for  miles  along 
the  Nile,  impresses  the  visitor  with  the  peculiarities 
of  the  Egyptian  idea  of  death  and  burial.  They 
believed  in  the  life  of  the  soul  beyond  the  grave,  and 
that  the  living  man  was  made  up  of  four  separate 
parts,  all  united  while  he  lived.  These  were,  the 
human  body;  the  double,  called  Ka;  the  soul  Ba; 
and  the  Khu  or  "  luminous  spark,"  an  emanation 
from  the  divinity.  The  Ka  was  a  sort  of  spiritual 
body,  much  like  the  real  body,  bound  to  the  body 
during  life,  never  leaving  it,  and  remaining  with 
the  mummy  in  the  tomb  after  death.  In  the  sculp- 
tures it  is  represented  as  naked,  and  with  its  own 
peculiar  sign,  two  uplifted  arms  above  the  head. 


548  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  Ka  required  food  and  drink,  which  had  to 
be  provided  by  the  living.  Thus,  while  the  mummy 
and  Ka  remained  in  the  tomb,  the  Ba  and  the  Khu 
went  to  the  regions  of  the  gods,  but  visited  the 
mummy  and  Ka  at  intervals,  and  as  they  were  to 
return  to  the  body,  in  the  distant  future,  therefore 
its  preservation  was  necessary.  Hence  the  em- 
balming of  the  mummy.  The  earliest  mummy 
known  dates  from  3450  B.  C.,  and  is  in  the  Brit- 
ish Museum,  while  the  process  of  embalming  the 
mummies  continued  until  Christianity  prevailed  in 
Egypt,  during  the  fourth  century  of  our  era. 
There  were  various  processes  of  this  embalming, 
the  most  expensive  being  used  for  the  kings,  while 
the  poor  had  only  cheap  methods,  but  all  tried,  as 
far  as  possible,  to  preserve  the  body,  so  that  the  soul 
might  some  day  return  to  it,  and  to  this  purpose 
they  devoted  their  savings.  The  best  preserved 
mummies  are  those  from  Thebes,  three  thousand 
years  old,  but  some,  only  recently  discovered,  upon 
exposure  to  the  air,  decomposed,  and  had  to  be 
buried. 

The  Egyptian  believed,  that  while  his  life  on 
earth  was  short,  his  existence  in  the  tomb  would 
practically  be  endless.  Hence  the  tomb  was  re- 
garded as  his  actual  home,  and  was  constructed  to 
meet  his  requirements  after  death.  The  elaborate 
tomb  is  in  three  parts  —  the  public  rooms,  the  pri- 
vate apartments  of  the  Ka  and  mummy,  and  a 


THE  ANCIENT  EGYPTIAN  CAPITAL  549 

connecting  corridor.  The  family  and  friends  came 
to  the  public  rooms  at  the  funeral,  and  at  various 
times  afterward,  and  brought  their  food  offerings 
for  the  Ka.  These  rooms  were  usually  above 
ground,  or  on  the  side  of  a  cliff,  being  well  lighted, 
and  ornamented  with  scenes  from  the  life  of  the 
dead  man,  so  that  the  Ka  would  be  reminded  of 
his  worldly  existence.  In  the  early  empire  tombs 
at  Memphis,  the  corridor  and  mummy  chamber  were 
usually  bare,  though  occasionally  there  were  decora- 
tions in  the  chamber,  and  religious  inscriptions. 
These  tombs,  originally  having  their  public  rooms 
in  brick  or  stone  temples  or  other  structures  above 
ground,  are  now  buried  deep  down  in  the  drifting 
sands,  which  have  blown  over  them  for  ages.  The 
place  looks  like  a  city,  and  at  Sakkara,  the  assem- 
blages of  tomb-houses  stretch  for  fifteen  miles  along 
the  Nile.  In  the  later  cemeteries,  of  the  present 
time,  the  house  is  built  over  the  grave  as  in  former 
days,  and  the  family  and  friends  come,  as  before, 
at  certain  periods,  to  pray  for  and  live  with  their 
dead  ones.  These  little  tomb-houses  are  called 
Mastabas,  meaning  a  bench,  from  which  it  is  de- 
rived, as  in  the  case  of  a  bench  outside  a  building. 
Ptah,  the  chief  deity  of  Memphis,  had  the  sacred 
bull  Apis  as  his  representative,  who,  after  death, 
had  his  spirit  united  with  Osiris,  being  then  called 
Oserapis,  or  Serapis.  Hence,  there  is  the  aggre- 
gation of  Apis  tombs  in  the  Serapeum,  uncovered 


550  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

by  Marietta,  the  earliest  being  buried  in  the  reign 
of  Amenhotep  III,  about  1400  B.  0.,  and  the  last 
known  Apis  living  in  the  fourth  century  of  our 
era,  when  this  worship  ceased.  The  Apis  tomb, 
now  most  accessible,  is  a  spacious  apartment,  open- 
ing into  a  long  subterranean  gallery,  with  large 
chambers  on  either  hand,  containing  twenty-four- 
huge  sarcophagi,  each  weighing  at  least  sixty  tons. 
The  Mastaba  of  Ptah-hotep,  a  priest  of  the  fifth 
dynasty,  is  very  interesting.  Its  mural  decorations 
are  marvellous,  and  the  colors  bright,  though  six 
thousand  years  old.  The  subjects  are  taken  from 
the  daily  life  of  the  deceased,  showing  the  animals 
and  fowls,  the  customs,  trades,  agriculture,  ships 
and  ceremonies  of  his  time,  these  being  displayed 
that  the  Ka  might  see  in  the  tomb-chamber  the 
scenes  he  was  familiar  with  in  life.  Ptah-hotep  is 
said  to  have  been  the  author  of  the  oldest  book  in 
the  world,  the  Proverbs  of  Ptah-hotep,  a  copy,  dat- 
ing from  2600  B.  C.,  and  believed  the  oldest  book 
existing,  being  in  the  Paris  National  Library, 
though  this  copy  was  made  from  an  earlier  book. 
He  lived  to  the  age  of  115  years,  filled  many  high 
offices,  and  in  his  closing  years  wrote  this  book  of 
moral  precepts.  Another  interesting  tomb  is  that 
of  Ti,  a  man  of  humble  origin,  who  became  a  royal 
architect,  attained  the  highest  rank,  married  a 
pharaoh's  daughter,  and  had  his  children  called 
princes.  The  well-preserved  sculptures  and  decora- 


THE  FAYOUM  551 

tions  represent  his  daily  life;  his  servants  are  work- 
ing in  the  fields,  preparing  food  or  attending  animals 
and  birds ;  handicraftsmen  are  at  their  daily  toil ;  and 
Ti,  in  different  representations,  is  hunting,  sailing, 
receiving  presents  and  going  through  his  daily 
round  of  business  or  pleasure.  Thus  the  exca- 
vated Memphis,  and  the  Sakkara  tombs,  give  the 
exhibition  of  the  old  Egyptian  capital,  and  the  life 
and  death  scenes  of  its  earliest  people.  As  the 
descent  is  made,  from  the  desert  plateau,  to  return 
to  the  landing  place,  there  is  presented  a  most  beau- 
tiful landscape  of  the  Nile,  its  green  and  yellow 
bordering  fields  and  palm-groves,  the  deep  river 
valley,  and  across  it,  the  Mokkatam  range,  closing 
the  view,  with  the  distant  pyramids,  and  far  away 
the  graceful  minarets  of  Mehemet  Ali,  crowning 
the  citadel,  down  at  Cairo. 

THE    FAYOTJM. 

Slowly  voyaging  along  the  Xile,  occasionally 
fetching  up  on  a  sand  bank,  stopping  to  go  ashore 
and  see  the  antiquities,  exploring  the  great  river, 
between  its  green  valley  shores  and  the  distant  bor- 
der of  yellow  desert  hills,  the  visitor  takes  in  the 
sights  of  Egypt.  Soon  comes  in  view  the  old  pyra- 
mid of  Medum,  built  by  King  Snefru  of  the  third 
dynasty,  and  called  by  the  Arabs  Haram-el-Kaddab 
or  the  "  false  pyramid."  It  is  constructed  in  three 
courses,  like  so  many  huge  steps,  tapering  toward 


552  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  top,  and  rises  about  230  feet.  It  has  a  tem- 
ple on  the  eastern  side,  connected  by  an  open  court, 
in  which  there  yet  stands  an  altar.  Many  tombs 
accompany  it,  antedating  Sakkara  tombs,  but  much 
of  them  and  its  own  environment  is  buried  in  the 
sands.  This  place  has  produced  numerous  treasures 
for  the  museum  at  Cairo,  and  the  inscriptions  are 
made  in  the  earliest  hieroglyphics,  the  oldest  Egyp- 
tian writings.  A  short  distance  above  is  the  town 
of  Beni  Suef,  the  port  of  the  fertile  district  of  the 
Fayoum,  to  the  westward.  The  Lybian  hills, 
bounding  the  river  valley  on  that  side,  here  bend 
around  to  the  west  and  the  north,  about  forty 
miles  southwest  of  Cairo,  and  thus  enclose  an  oval 
valley,  which  stretches  forty  miles  to  the  westward, 
and  widens  to  thirty  miles  breadth,  being  so  fertile 
that  it  supports  a  population  of  150,000.  The 
name  comes  from  the  Coptic  word  Phioum  meaning 
"  the  waters."  The  basin  thus  formed  has  only 
one  opening,  eastward  toward  the  Nile,  and  it  grad- 
ually slopes  both  toward  the  north  and  the  south, 
the  northern  depression  being  occupied  by  the 
Birket  el  Keroon,  thus  named  from  its  shape,  "  the 
lake  of  the  horn."  This  lake  is  thirty  miles  long 
and  about  six  miles  across  in  the  widest  portion, 
the  shores  being  mostly  bluffs,  excepting  on  the 
southern  side,  where  they  are  low  and  sandy.  It 
has  an  outlet  to  the  Nile,  and  also  communicates 
with  the  Bahr  Yosef,  the  "  Canal  of  Joseph,"  an 


THE  FAYOUM  553 

ancient  waterway  coming  from  Assiout,  many 
miles  up  the  river,  that  is  used  for  irrigation,  and 
was  the  inlet  to  the  Lake  Moeris,  which  the  early 
pharaohs  used  as  a  reservoir  for  the  Nile,  with 
which  this  lake  has  often  been  identified.  Herodo- 
tus, writing  of  Lake  Moeris,  described  it  as  of  thirty- 
six  hundred  furlongs  circumference,  and  fifty 
fathoms  depth,  being  an  artificial  excavation,  as 
nearly  in  the  centre  stood  two  pyramids,  rising 
three  hundred  feet  above  the  water,  each  crowned 
with  a  colossal  statue  upon  a  throne.  He  added 
that  the  water  of  the  lake  did  not  come  out  of  the 
ground,  which  was  here  exceedingly  dry,  but  was 
introduced  by  a  canal  from  the  Nile,  the  current 
for  six  months  flowing  into  the  lake  from  the  river, 
and  then  changing  so  that  for  the  next  six  months 
it  flowed  into  the  river  from  the  lake.  He  ascribed 
its  formation  to  King  Moeris,  living  about  1350  B. 
C.  and  identified  with  Amenhotep  III. 

The  natural  lake  Birket  el  Keroon  was  con- 
founded by  the  old  historian,  as  by  many  others, 
with  the  artificial  Lake  Moeris.  During  the  Nile 
inundations  the  two  would  appear  practically  as 
one,  Moeris  being  in  practice  an  extensive  reservoir 
secured  by  dams,  and  communicating  by  canals  with 
all  parts  of  the  Fayoum,  its  object  being  to  regulate 
the  water  supply.  Thus,  for  many  centuries,  this 
district  has  been  thoroughly  irrigated,  so  that  it  is 
remarkably  fertile,  producing  grain,  cotton,  fruits, 


554  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

and  an  abundance  of  roses,  its  rose  water  being 
famous  and  sold  all  over  Egypt.  The  chief  town 
is  Medinet  el  Fayoum,  the  ancient  Arsenoi,  and 
also  called  Crocodilopolis.  Herodotus  described  as 
existing  here  a  wonderful  labyrinth,  which  had  three 
thousand  rooms,  half  of  them  underground,  and  all 
connected  by  intricate  passages,  and  there  still  sur- 
vive near  it,  several  broken  columns  of  red  granite, 
carved  in  old  Egyptian  style,  supposed  to  mark  the 
site.  There  are  also  two  huge  stone  pedestals,  called 
"  Pharaoh's  Feet,"  and  various  statues  and  other 
relics,  including  a  syenite  obelisk,  forty-three  feet 
high,  covered  with  sculptures.  The  Temple  of 
Kasr  Keroon  is  about  three  miles  from  the  lake, 
evidently  a  Roman  work,  and  nearly  a  hundred  feet 
long  and  forty  feet  high. 

As  one  glides  gently  upon  the  Nile  the  thought 
becomes  impressive  that  it  is  unlike  any  other  river 
in  the  world.  For  over  a  thousand  miles  in  this 
almost  rainless  region  neither  tributary  nor  cloud 
adds  to  its  water  supply,  and  yet  the  dry  desert  air, 
the  hot  suns,  and  numberless  water  carriers,  sha- 
doofs, sakiyehs,  ditches  and  canals,  are  constantly 
taking  water  away.  Thus  the  volume  of  the  cur- 
rent here  is  much  less  than  it  is  hundreds  of  miles 
higher  up,  toward  the  south,  until  the  inundations 
come  in  June,  with  their  almost  machine-like  reg- 
ularity. Then  the  swelling  flood  brings  general 
rejoicing,  unlike  the  deluge  overflows  in  other  riv- 


THE  FAYOUM  555 

ers,  that  cause  alarm  and  damage.  The  rich  coat- 
ing of  mud,  when  the  flood  subsides,  gives  the  lux- 
uriant fertility  to  the  land,  that  needs  no  other 
stimulant,  and  the  people  celebrate  the  inundations 
with  universal  festivity.  The  Nile,  however,  does 
not  present  what  may  be  regarded  as  beautiful 
scenery,  though  it  is  very  interesting,  largely 
through  the  modes  of  life  exhibited  by  the  people  on 
its  banks,  and  on  the  strip  of  green  surface  on  either 
hand,  enclosed  by  the  distant  yellow  hills  border- 
ing the  valley. 

The  atmosphere  in  its  extreme  dryness  is  very 
charming,  giving  a  soft  outline  to  the  view  of  far 
off  objects,  and  decorating  those  barren  yellow  cliffs 
with  a  tinge  of  pink,  and  the  fields  with  brilliant 
green  or  gold.  As  the  boat  moves  along,  the  primi- 
tive methods  of  water  carrying  are  exhibited.  The 
women  poise  the  dripping  goolahs  upon  their  erect 
heads,  and  mounting  the  steep  bank,  carry  them  off 
to  the  adjacent  mud-hut  village.  The  long-poled 
shadoof,  with  bucket  on  end,  is  lowered  and  raised 
by  the  brown-skinned  patient  and  half-naked  fellah 
in  exactly  the  same  way  his  ancestors  have  done 
since  the  days  of  the  pharaohs.  Where  the  bluff 
shore  is  high,  these  shadoof  poles  are  placed  in 
series,  sometimes  three  or  four,  up  the  bank,  each 
with  an  attendant,  one  raising  the  water  to  the 
other,  until  at  the  top  it  is  poured  out  into  the 
little  channel,  carrying  it  over  the  soil  to  which  it 


556 

gives  life.  There  is  also  exhibited  along  the  shore 
the  more  elaborate  but  very  rude  sakiyeh,  of  the 
wealthier  farmers,  who  are  able  to  employ  camel 
or  buffalo  power,  to  lift  the  water,  by  the  huge 
wooden  wheels,  having  earthen  jugs  tied  at  the  rims, 
these  machines  creaking  mournfully  or  screeching 
shrilly  as  the  patient  animal,  his  eyes  covered  with 
blinders  made  of  mud,  treads  around  and  turns  the 
wheel.  There  has  been  no  appreciable  change  in 
this  clumsy  mechanism,  since  the  time  of  the  great 
Rameses.  They  are  not  oiled,  because  the  blinded 
cattle  would  stop  if  the  noise  ceased. 

Thus  the  Egyptian  fellah  of  to-day  plods  on,  be- 
ing utterly  oblivious  of  modern  improvements  and 
satisfied  to  continue  in  the  ways  of  his  fathers. 
He  is  content  to  draw  his  tribute  from  the  Nile, 
and  Ganon  Eawnsley  has  put  the  operation  into 
rhyme : 

All  through  the  day  the  red-brown  man 

Stands  on  his  perch  in  the  red-brown  bank; 

Waters  never  more  gratefully  ran, 

Cucumbers  never  more  greedily  drank. 

Rough  clout  upon  his  stately  head, 

The  stately  camel  round  doth  go, 

With  gentle,  hesitating  tread; 

And  yoked,  and  blind  with  frontlets,  made 

Of  black  Nile  mud,  the  buffalo 

Plies  with  him  his  unequal  trade. 

The  little  villages,  intersected  by  crooked  pas- 
sageways, on  which  the  mud  huts  abut  in  irregular 


THE  FAYOUM  557 

groups,  sometimes  are  enriched  by  the  appearance 
of  a  whitewashed  mosque.  Many  feluccas,  the 
freighters  of  the  country,  float  on  the  water,  or 
ground  on  the  sand  bars,  as  they  carry  along  the 
produce,  sugar-cane,  cotton,  grain,  hay  and  fruits, 
with  sometimes  pottery  and  many  water  jugs.  The 
navigation  is  very  tortuous  and  uncertain,  and  al- 
most every  vessel  at  times  gets  stranded  on  the 
shifting  shoals,  and  then  the  Arab  sailors  jump  into 
the  water,  and  try  to  push  it  afloat,  accompanying 
the  effort  with  melancholy  chants  and  strange 
outcries  and  earnest  calling  upon  Allah  for  help. 
Sugar  factories  are  passed,  where  the  industry  is 
active  under  modern  European  direction,  controlled 
by  the  French  Sucreries  Company.  At  one  of 
these  the  eastern  hills  come  closely  to  the  shore, 
forming  the  Gebel-et-Ter,  or  "  Mountain  of  the 
Bird,"  for  here,  the  Arab  legend  says,  the  birds 
once  a  year  assemble  from  all  parts  of  the  country, 
to  settle  various  important  matters,  and  when  they 
disperse,  they  leave  one  on  guard  until  the  next 
assemblage.  Upon  the  summit  is  the  Coptic  walled 
village  and  convent  of  "  Our  Lady  Mary."  At  one 
hundred  and  sixty  miles  from  Cairo  is  the  large 
town  of  Minyeh,  which  has  sugar  factories,  a  busy 
market  and  much  trade.  So  prolific  are  the  lands 
in  this  rich  Nile  Valley,  that  they  are  valued  at  $200 
to  $500  per  acre,  and  fetch  an  annual  rental  of  $20 
to  $50  per  acre. 


558  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 


BENT-HASAN"    TO    DEOSTDERAH. 

A  few  miles  farther  is  Beni-Hasan,  on  the 
eastern  bank,  noted  for  its  rock-tombs  and  temples, 
and  here  all  hands  go  ashore  for  an  exploration  and 
the  usual  preliminary  skirmish  with  the  donkey 
boys.  The  tombs  are  on  a  terrace,  about  200  feet 
higher  than  the  river,  and  were  made  in  the  eleventh 
and  twelfth  dynasties,  about  2700  B.  C.,  at  the 
beginning  of  the  Middle  Empire  and  in  the  revival 
of  the  Egyptian  arts.  There  are  thirty-nine  tombs, 
and  most  of  them  have  been  damaged.  The  Specs 
Artemidos  is  a  small  rock-temple,  dedicated  to  the 
lion-headed  goddess  Pasht,  to  whom  the  cat  was 
sacred,  and  consequently  there  is  a  large  cat  ceme- 
tery. This  was  built  much  later,  about  1500  B. 
C.,  by  Thothmes  III  and  Queen  Hatasu,  and  some 
two  hundred  years  afterward  Seti  put  his  name 
upon  it  in  various  places.  This  temple  was  never 
entirely  completed.  These  tombs  consist  of  mummy 
pits,  and  the  large  funeral  chamber,  excavated  in 
the  rock,  and  decorated  with  scenes  from  the  lives 
of  the  dead.  The  most  famous  tomb  is  that  of 
Ameni,  having  four  sixteen-edged  columns  of  Doric 
style,  called  Proto-Doric,  indicating  to  architects 
that  Egyptian  builders  had  this  art  twenty  cen- 
turies before  those  of  Greece.  Khnemhotep's  tomb 
has  interesting  paintings,  one  having  a  statue  of  the 
deceased,  being  brought  to  the  burial,  escorted  by 


BENI-HASAN  TO  DENDERAH  559 

dancing  girls,  and  another  representing  a  Bedouin 
deputation  bringing  him  an  offering,  these  people 
being  richly  dressed.  Kheti's  tomb  exhibits  lotus 
columns  with  closed  bud  capitals.  One  of  these 
tombs  in  the  early  Christian  period  was  used  as  a 
church.  In  the  decorations  of  the  chambers  are 
representations  of  birds  and  animals,  hunting  scenes, 
models  of  galleys,  with  slaves  at  the  oars,  agricul- 
tural and  other  industries,  bread  baking,  beer-brew- 
ing and  drinking,  boat  races,  and  pictures  of  all 
classes  of  people. 

At  Roda,  above  Beni-Hasan,  is  the  khedive's 
large  sugar  factory,  and  inland,  on  the  opposite 
shore,  are  the  ruins  of  Antinoe.  Here  the  Em- 
peror Hadrian,  in  the  second  century,  built  in  mem- 
ory of  his  favorite,  Antinous,  the  city  of  Antinop- 
olis,  to  mark  his  gratitude  for  the  handsome  young 
man's  sacrifice.  A  great  misfortune  had  been  pre- 
dicted by  the  oracle  of  Besa,  near  by,  as  in  store 
for  the  emperor,  unless  his  best  friend  was  immo- 
lated, and  to  fulfill  the  prediction  Antinous  drowned 
himself  in  the  Kile.  The  emperor  was  almost 
inconsolable,  and  besides  building  the  city  he  or- 
dered a  newly  observed  star  to  be  called  by  his  name. 
Antinous  was  also  deified,  mysteries  in  his  honor 
being  celebrated,  and  statues  of  him  were  erected 
at  various  places  in  the  empire.  These  ruins  are  of 
the  Koman  time,  mostly  of  tombs  and  the  foun- 
dations of  private  houses  and  of  streets,  everything 


560  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

else  having  disappeared.  The  tombs,  however,  have 
yielded  many  interesting  "  finds,"  among  them,  the 
paraphernalia  of  the  sorceress  Myrithis,  including 
her  gorilla  skin,  mystic  lamps,  magic  papyrus,  tam- 
bourine, and  complicated  mirror  of  various  faces, 
all  of  which,  with  the  yellow  clothed  mummy,  have 
been  transferred  to  the  museum.  Some  distance 
above,  on  the  eastern  bank,  is  Tell-el-Amama, 
where  are  the  ruins  of  the  heretic  King  Amenhotep 
IVs  Palace  of  Haggi  Kandil,  and  in  the  cliffs  to 
the  eastward  of  the  river  plain,  a  series  of  rock- 
tombs.  We  are  told  that  the  power  of  the  priests 
of  Ammon,  at  Thebes,  over  his  father,  Amenhotep 
III,  had  become  irksome,  and  through  the  inspira- 
tion of  Teie,  his  mother,  he  inclined  to  the  worship 
of  the  sun-god  of  Heliopolis,  so  that. the  son,  after 
his  accession,  cast  aside  Ammon  and  all  the  Theban 
deities  and  priests,  changed  his  name  to  Akh-en- 
Aten,  meaning  the  "  splendor  of  the  sun's  disk," 
abandoned  Thebes  as  the  capital,  and  brought  his 
court  here,  where  he  established  a  new  capital  and 
palace.  After  eighteen  years'  reign,  Amenhotep 
IV  was  killed,  and,  leaving  no  sons,  the  husband  of 
his  oldest  daughter  succeeded.  The  new  king 
abandoned  Tell-el-Amarna  in  a  short  time,  and  it 
declined  in  importance,  being  deserted  soon  after- 
ward. Then  the  priests  of  Ammon  came  back  into 
power  and  overthrew  the  new  religion.  It  was 
here,  in  1888,  that  a  fellah  woman,  searching  for 


BENI-HASAN  TO  DENDERAH  561 

relics,  found  the  heap  of  clay  tablets,  inscribed  with 
the  cuneiform  characters  of  Assyria  and  Babylonia, 
which  caused  such  a  sensation  among  archaeologists. 
They  were  despatches  sent  by  the  governors  of 
Syrian,  Palestinean  and  Mesopotamian  towns  to 
the  Amenhoteps,  their  Egyptian  sovereigns,  giving 
a  complete  statement  of  the  history  and  conditions 
of  that  time.  Further  researches  uncovered  Amen- 
hotep's  palace  site,  the  excavations  showing  beau- 
tiful mosaic  pictures  on  the  floors.  The  tombs  in 
the  cliffs  display  sculptures  and  paintings  devoted 
to  the  sun-god,  the  king's  tomb  being  isolated  in  a 
lonely  valley.  These  cliffs  approach  closely  to  the 
river,  higher  up,  making  the  white  limestone  prom- 
ontory of  the  Gebel  Abulfeda,  where  the  winds  blow 
wildly  at  times,  to  the  discomfiture  of  the  boatmen. 

Monfalut  is  another  Arab  port  on  the  Xile  shore, 
which  has  some  trade,  and  near  by,  at  Maabdeh,  in 
the  hills  to  the  westward,  are  the  noisome  caverns, 
where,  in  the  ancient  Egyptian  animal  worship,  the 
priests  and  attendants  were  buried  with  the  sacred 
crocodiles  in  their  charge,  and  the  mummies  of  the 
men  and  reptiles  have  been  found  together. 

The  wayward  river  bends  in  graceful  curves,  as  the 
vessel  approaches  Assiout,  its  minarets  and  domes 
having  the  sun  shining  upon  them.  Here  is  a  great 
barrage  or  dam,  controlling  the  river's  flow,  and 
just  above  it,  the  entrance  to  the  Bahr  Yosef,  or 

"  Joseph's  Canal,"  the  important  work  which  flows 
VOL.  11—36 


562  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

through,  the  western  plain,  an  artificial  river  pro- 
viding irrigation,  and  two  hundred  miles  northward 
terminates  in  the  Eayoum,  where  it  furnishes  the 
chief  water  supply.  Nobody  knows  who  first  con- 
structed this  canal,  and  tradition  assigns  it  to 
Joseph  of  the  Bible,  hence  the  name.  Assiout  is 
254  miles  up  the  river  from  Cairo,  and  is  the  largest 
city  of  the  interior  of  Egypt,  having  about  fifty 
thousand  population.  Formerly,  the  great  caravan 
route  from  the  Soudan  came  here,  and  goods  were 
transshipped  to  Nile  boats,  but  this  trade  has  de- 
clined, with  the  changing  routes,  though  Assiout 
is  seeking  other  methods  of  traffic,  and  has  a  large 
European  mercantile  colony,  who  have  erected 
handsome  modern  buildings.  There  is  the  usual 
bazaar,  with  the  customary  noisy  Arab  solicitation 
and  bargaining,  and  as  the  original  Assiout  was 
very  ancient,  there  are  old  tombs  in  the  limestone 
hills,  at  the  back  of  the  town,  appearing  much  like 
those  of  Beni-Hasan,  and  being  of  the  same  date. 
Among  the  novel  sculptures  and  pictures  found  are 
representations  of  soldiers,  some  of  these  having 
been  transferred  to  the  museum  at  Cairo.  Hermits 
lived  in  these  tombs,  in  the  early  Christian  periods, 
among  them  the  Reverend  John  of  Lykopolis,  to 
whom  Theodosius  sent  an  embassy,  to  inquire  the 
outcome  of  a  war  then  waging,  and  the  hermit  told 
him  to  come  on,  for  a  bloody  but  certain  victory. 
A  visit  to  these  tombs  is  repaid  by  the  charming 


BENI-HASAN  TO  DENDERAH  563 

view  from  the  hill  top,  over  the  pleasant  town,  sur- 
rounded by  green  fields  and  palm  groves,  and  the 
far  extending  Nile  Valley.  This  long  stretch  of 
delicious  green,  for  so  many  miles  on  both  sides  of 
the  famous  river,  has  been  described  by  Dean 
Stanley  as  "  unbroken  save  by  the  mud  villages 
which  here  and  there  lie  in  the  midst  of  the  verdure, 
and  are  like  the  marks  of  a  soiled  foot  on  a  rich  car- 
pet," 

The  Nile,  above  Assiout,  stretches  in  long  and 
winding  course  toward  the  southeast.  Here  are  the 
dairy  regions  of  Tahta  and  Tema,  the  sugar  fields 
of  Abutig,  Girgeh  with  its  freshly  excavated  ruins 
of  a  temple  of  Rameses,  and  the  Arab  town  of 
Baliana,  hot  and  unattractive  in  itself,  but  having 
a  very  lively  set  of  donkey  boys,  as  the  visiting 
party  find,  when  they  go  ashore  to  take  the  trip  for 
about  eight  miles  west  of  the  Nile  to  explore  the 
interesting  remains  of  Abydos.  This  venerable 
city  is  about  350  miles  from  Cairo,  and  the  ride  to 
it  goes  through  an  interesting  region  of  rich  agri- 
cultural development.  Abydos  was  the  birthplace 
of  the  great  Henes,  the  burial  place  of  the  head  of 
Osiris,  and  in  its  time  of  greatest  prosperity  be- 
came the  second  city  of  the  Thebaid.  It  was  a  holy 
city,  and  has  a  famous  necropolis,  there  being 
tombs  built  in  all  ages.  Its  chief  remains  are  of 
the  Temple  of  Osiris,  constructed  by  Eameses,  and 
the  palace  of  Memnon,  by  Seti,  while,  in  the  adja- 


564  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

cent  hills,  are  the  ancient  tombs.  At  present  it  is 
in  charge  of  the  monks  of  the  Coptic  convent  of 
Anba  Musa.  The  Rameses  Temple  of  Osiris  has 
been  almost  destroyed,  but  enough  exists  to  show 
that  it  was  a  building  of  great  splendor,  the  door- 
ways being  of  fine  granite,  the  columns  of  sand- 
stone, and  the  sanctuary  lined  with  alabaster.  In  it 
was  found,  in  the  early  part  of  the  nineteenth  cen- 
tury, the  noted  "  tablet  of  Abydos  "  or  "  Rameses 
tablet,"  now  in  the  British  Museum,  upon  which 
the  inscribed  hieroglyphics  give  the  genealogy  of 
the  eighteenth  dynasty  of  the  pharaohs.  In  sub- 
sequent explorations  there  was  found  a  second 
tablet,  called  the  "  Sethos  tablet,"  more  complete 
than  the  other,  which  contains  sixty-five  shields,  and 
an  uninterrupted  record  of  the  pharaohs  of  the 
first  three  dynasties,  beginning  with  Menes.  These 
discoveries  were  most  important,  in  connexion  with 
the  researches  into  the  remotest  Egyptian  era. 

Seti's  palace  is  much  larger,  and  was  called  the 
Memnonium  by  Strabo,  having  been  visited  and 
admired  by  numerous  Roman  travellers  in  his  time. 
The  first  court  of  this  palace  has  disappeared,  and 
the  second  only  has  part  of  the  walls  standing. 
From  this  is  entered  a  hypostyle  hall,  divided  into 
seven  sections,  and  opening  into  a  second  hypostyle 
hall,  which  is  both  higher  and  wider,  this  being  the 
work  of  Seti,  the  courts  and  outer  hall  having  been 
constructed  by  Rameses.  There  are  admirable  re- 


BENI-HASAN  TO  DtfXDERAH  565 

liefs  on  the  north  wall,  considered  among  the  best 
in  Egypt,  the  chief  representation  being  of  Seti 
offering  an  image  of  Maat,  the  goddess  of  justice 
and  truth,  to  Osiris.  This  palace  was  devoted  to 
seven  deities,  and  the  seven  sections  of  the  outer 
hypostyle  hall  open  into  seven  sanctuaries  in  the 
inner  hall  each  having  been  for  a  separate  divinity. 
The  centre  was  for  Ammon,  while,  on  the  one  hand, 
are  the  sanctuaries  of  Osiris,  Isis  and  Horus,  and 
on  the  other,  those  of  Harmakhis,  Ptah  and  the 
deified  Seti.  In  the  south  wTing  is  a  gallery,  with 
the  list  of  kings  beginning  with  Menes.  Seti  did 
not  include  all,  but  only  those  he  regarded  with 
favor,  as  the  most  prominent,  and  it  contains  sev- 
enty-six names,  ending  with  his  own,  thus  chrono- 
logically recording  the  rulers  of  Egypt  in  a  list 
made  thirty  centuries  ago.  Among  the  oldest 
tombs  at  Abydos  are  a  group  of  ten  brick  construc- 
tions, ascribed  to  the  period  immediately  preceding 
Menes,  when  there  was  a  dynasty  of  ten  kings,  who 
were  buried  here,  and  evidently  made  this  a  sort  of 
prehistoric  capital,  anterior  to  Memphis.  The  in- 
teresting relics  found  in  them  are  now  in  the  Cairo 
Museum. 

The  railway,  which  has  come  along  the  plain 
on  the  western  bank  of  the  Nile,  all  the  way  from 
Cairo,  turns  to  the  eastward  a  short  distance  above 
Baliana,  crosses  by  a  fine  steel  drawbridge  to  the 
eastern  bank,  and  keeping  close  to  the  shore, 


566  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

goes  over  toward  Denderah.  The  crossing  is  at 
Hamadi,  where  there  is  another  large  sugar  factory. 
A  little  way  on  is  the  holy  village  of  Hou,  the  tomb 
of  the  devout  Sheikh  Selim,  who  is  highly  rever- 
enced by  the  Egyptian  sailors.  He  was  a  pious 
devotee,  who  for  fifty-three  years  sat  naked  here  on 
the  river  bank,  praying  and  praising,  and  guiding 
the  vessels,  until  his  soul  was  called  to  the  Moslem 
paradise.  Beyond  is  the  great  temple  of  Den- 
derah, on  the  southwestern  bank,  and  again  the 
donkey  procession  goes  from  the  landing  place  a 
short  distance  inland  to  the  site.  This  is  one  of 
the  famous  Egyptian  temples,  its  antiquities  being 
very  interesting  and  well  preserved.  It  was  an- 
ciently called  Tentyra,  a  magnificent  temple,  en- 
closed, with  some  other  structures,  in  a  space  about 
one  thousand  feet  square,  surrounded  by  a  wall  of 
sun-dried  bricks,  fifteen  feet  thick  and  thirty-five 
feet  high.  It  was  dedicated  to  the  goddess  Hathor, 
and  a  great  deal  of  excavation  has  been  done,  to 
get  down  to  its  base,  in  the  mountains  of  sand  that 
have  accumulated  all  about.  The  route  into  the 
enclosure  goes  down  a  narrow  lane  in  the  sand  heaps, 
and  then  a  flight  of  steps  is  descended  to  the  im- 
posing vestibule.  A  richly  sculptured  gateway 
faces  the  temple,  in  the  enclosing  wall,  on  which 
the  Roman  Emperors  Domitian  and  Trajan  are 
represented,  in  the  act  of  worship,  their  names 
being  in  the  inscriptions.  The  portico  is  about  135 


BENI-HASAN  TO  DENDERAH  567 

feet  wide,  and  composed  of  twenty-four  columns, 
arranged  in  four  rows,  each  thirty-two  feet  high  and 
nearly  twenty-two  feet  in  circumference.  The  cap- 
itals, on  each  of  the  four  sides,  have  the  full  face  of 
the  presiding  divinity,  and  the  architrave,  like  the 
portal,  has  sculptures  representing  a  religious  pro- 
cession. Upon  the  projecting  fillet  of  the  cornice 
is  an  inscription,  in  Greek,  stating  that  the  portico 
was  added  to  the  temple  in  the  reign  of  Tiberius 
CaBsar,  in  honor  of  the  goddess  Aphrodite,  who  be- 
came, under  Roman  influence,  the  successor  of 
Hathor,  as  the  Egyptian  Venus. 

Denderah  was  built  on  a  terrace,  higher  than  the 
Nile  plain,  so  as  to  escape  the  inundations,  and  thus 
stood  at  an  elevation.  When  Rome  became  Chris- 
tianized, howrever,  this  temple,  which  had  previously 
been  a  favorite  of  all  the  Roman  emperors,  who  had 
added  to  its  construction  and  decoration,  fell  into 
neglect  and  decay.  An  inscription  on  the  walls 
states  that  the  time  occupied  in  the  original  con- 
struction was  108  years,  6  months  and  14  days. 
After  Theodosius  forbade  the  worship  of  idols, 
and  the  temple  was  abandoned,  a  village  of 
huts,  built  of  sun-dried  bricks,  sprang  up  around 
it.  These  gradually  crumbled  into  rubbish  and 
were  supplanted  by  others,  built  on  the  dust  into 
which  the  first  village  had  fallen.  This  process 
continuing,  by  many  repetitions,  during  the  cen- 
turies, made  a  mound  around,  and  finally  on  top  of 


568  •  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

the  temple,  and  when  the  government,  in  the  last 
centurv,  decided  to  excavate  and  disclose  it,  work 
began  by  taking  the  mud  huts  off  the  roof.  The 
whole  temple,  inside  and  outside,  is  sculptured  in 
every  available  space  with  hieroglyphics  and  reliefs, 
that  were  originally  brightly  colored.  The  grand 
hall,  of  enormous  Hathor-headed  columns,  has, 
pictured  on  the  ceiling,  Newt,  the  goddess  of  the  sky, 
with  long  body  and  extended  arms,  controlling  the 
movements  of  the  heavenly  bodies;  the  sun's  rays 
shining  in  blessing  upon  Hathor's  head;  the  moon 
issuing  from  Newt's  mouth ;  the  sailing  boats  of  the 
planets;  the  flying  horses  of  the  day  and  night; 
and  the  signs  of  the  zodiac.  This  latter  representa- 
tion was  at  first  believed  to  be  of  very  remote  an- 
tiquity, but  it  was  found  to  lack  the  sign  of  Cancer, 
and  now  the  antiquaries  date  it  only  from  the  Ptol- 
emies, the  zodiac  not  being  used  by  the  earlier 
pharaohs.  In  one  of  the  inner  chambers  a  small 
and  somewhat  similar  planisphere  was  found,  and 
taken  to  Paris.  The  investigators  hold  the  opinion 
that  this  temple  was  so  constructed  that  the  priests 
could  watch  from  the  sanctuary,  along  the  temple 
axis,  the  rise  of  the  principal  star  in  the  Great  Bear, 
or  the  principal  star  of  Draco.  The  inscriptions 
mention  the  first  founding  of  a  temple  here  in  the 
dynasty  preceding  Menes.  In  the  decorations  of 
the  outer  wall  are  rude  portraits  of  Cleopatra  and 
her  son  Csesarion.  The  whole  structure  consists  of 


BENI-HASAN  TO  DEXDERAH  569 

three  large  halls,  an  isolated  sanctuary,  and  several 
small  chambers,  the  columns  in  some  of  these  dis- 
playing, on  their  capitals,  the  budding  lotus.  The 
roof  is  flat,  and  formed  of  oblong  stone  slabs. 
Small  holes,  cut  in  ceiling  or  sides,  admitted  light, 
and  some  of  the  lower  rooms  were  lighted  only  by 
the  few  rays  finding  their  way  through  apertures 
communicating  with  rooms  overhead.  The  sanc- 
tuary is  a  dark  inner  chamber,  enclosed  on  three 
sides.  A  long  stone  stairway  ascends  to  the  roof, 
there  being  pictured  on  the  stairway  walls  a  cere- 
monial procession  of  the  priests. 

Upon  the  opposite  side  of  the  Nile  is  Keneh,  406 
miles  above  Cairo,  a  large  town  noted  for  its  manu- 
facture of  porous  water-jars,  and  an  assembly  place 
for  gathering  the  pious  of  Upper  Egypt,  to  make  the 
annual  pilgrimage  to  Mecca.  Formerly  they  went 
over  a  caravan  route,  through  the  desert  eastward  to 
the  Red  Sea,  but  now  they  go  by  the  easier  railway 
route  to  Cairo  and  Suez.  At  Naquada,  above,  was 
recently  discovered  the  tomb  of  !Newt-hotep,  the 
queen  of  Menes.  The  visitor  has  now  come  into 
the  Thebaid,  with  its  relics  of  the  great  city,  on 
both  banks  of  the  river,  and  the  halt  is  made  at 
Luxor  on  the  eastern  bank,  454  miles  from  Cairo, 
the  chief  modern  abiding  place  of  the  tourist,  which 
gives  a  splendid  outlook  at  the  glorious  sunset,  seen 
beyond  the  Nile,  over  the  Theban  hills  bounding  the 
western  horizon. 


570  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 


THE    GREATEST    EOYPTIAN"    CAPITAL. 

Thebes  was  the  capital  of  Egypt  in  its  time  of 
greatest  development,  the  Middle  Empire,  and  is 
the  most  important  place  on  the  Nile  for  the  sight- 
seer. It  was  the  chief  seat  of  the  worship  of 
Ammon,  and  hence  became  the  Hebrew  No-Ammon, 
while  the  Greeks  and  Romans  called  it  Diospolis  the 
Great.  The  Egyptian  name  was  Ap  or  Ape,  con- 
verted, by  the  use  of  the  feminine  article,  into  Tape, 
the  head,  which  being  pronounced  in  the  Memphian 
dialect,  Theba,  was  easily  changed  by  the  Greeks 
into  ThebsB,  while  Juvenal  and  Pliny  called  it 
Thebe.  In  antiquity,  it  claimed  to  be  the  oldest 
city  in  the  world,  but  it  is  not  believed  to  have  been 
founded  as  early  as  Memphis,  which  it  superseded 
as  the  capital.  The  Thebaid  extended  over  the 
plains,  on  both  sides  of  the  Nile,  to  the  chains  of 
hills  enclosing  the  valley,  and  the  city  stood  near 
the  centre.  Strabo  describes  the  vestiges  of  the 
city,  in  his  time,  as  extending  about  ten  miles  along 
the  Nile,  and  Diodorus  estimated  the  circuit  at 
seventeen  miles,  while  the  ruins  indicate  that  it  cov- 
ered about  sixteen  square  miles,  on  both  sides  of  the 
river.  They  are  among  the  most  magnificent  ruins 
in  the  world,  and  are  found  at  the  villages  of  Luxor 
and  Karnak  on  the  eastern  bank,  and  Kurna  and 
Medinet  Habu  on  the  western  side.  The  mass  of 
the  population  of  the  ancient  city  seems  to  have 


THE  GREATEST  EGYPTIAN  CAPITAL     571 

lived  on  the  eastern  shore,  while  on  the  west  side 
were  temples  and  palaces,  with  their  grand  avenues 
of  sphynxes,  and  the  rock-hewn  tombs  of  the  kings 
and  nobles.  The  most  flourishing  period  of  Thebes 
was  the  eighteenth  dynasty,  and  it  began  declining 
in  the  eighth  century  B.  C.  The  Persians  pillaged 
it  in  the  seventh  and  sixth  centuries,  Cambyses 
coming  in  the  later  period.  Ptolemy  Lathyrus,  86 
B.  C.,  destroyed  it,  and  it  then  lost  all  political  and 
commercial  importance,  though  continuing  after- 
ward as  the  sacerdotal  capital  of  the  worshippers 
of  Ammon.  The  trade  originally  supporting  it 
went  to  Alexandria.  In  the  early  Christian  era  it 
was  desolated,  in  their  zeal  against  idolatrous  mon- 
uments, and  afterward  was  further  ravaged  by 
Arabs,  Nubians  and  the  Saracens,  losing  all  im- 
portance after  the  latter  had  come  into  control,  so 
that  for  centuries  during  the  middle  ages  it  was 
almost  forgotten. 

The  town  of  Luxor  is  an  active  place,  devoted  to 
the  tourist  trade,  for  here  come  most  of  the  visitors 
to  Egypt,  many  making  a  protracted  sojourn. 
There  are  consequently  good  hotels,  and  the  town  has 
become  a  noted  winter  health  resort,  as  it  is  recog- 
nized that  a  whole  winter  will  hardly  suffice  for  a 
thorough  view  and  examination  of  all  the  Theban 
antiquities.  The  river  embankment  and  main  street 
are  full  of  shops,  providing  goods  of  all  kinds,  and 
also  great  numbers  of  curios  and  relics  known  in 


572  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

Egypt  as  "  antikos,"  some  of  them  of  very  recent 
manufacture.  The  native  town  is  a  large  aggrega- 
tion of  mud  huts,  occupied  by  the  fellahs  and  Arabs. 
Near  the  river  bank  are  the  ruins  of  the  Luxor 
temple,  which  have  been  partially  excavated  and 
disclosed,  through  government  work,  during  the  last 
twenty  years.  To  secure  funds  for  excavating 
Egyptian  ruins  and  making  them  accessible,  a  fee 
of  120  piastres,  or  £1,  4s,  7d,  being  about  $6,  is  ex- 
acted by  the  government,  which  provides  a  ticket, 
giving  the  holder  access  to  all  the  monuments  and 
temples  throughout  the  country,  and  for  10  shillings, 
the  Theban  ruins  are  accessible.  In  the  Luxor 
temple  there  is  a  little  white  mosque  at  one  corner, 
covering  the  tomb  of  a  Mohammedan  saint,  and  as 
it  would  be  sacrilege  to  disturb  this  tomb,  possession 
could  not  be  got  for  purposes  of  excavation  without 
producing  an  insurrection  and  possible  "  holy  war," 
so  that  it  was  not  attempted.  The  original  temple 
was  built  by  Amenhotep  IV,  and  dedicated  to 
Ammon,  but  a  century  later,  Eameses  II,  in  the 
height  of  his  extraordinary  reign,  enlarged  the 
structure,  adorning  it  with  colossal  statues  of  him- 
self, and  covered  the  walls  with  pictures,  reliefs 
and  inscriptions  in  self-glorification.  There  are  in 
front,  two  huge  sitting  statues  of  Rameses,  each 
about  forty  feet  high,  one  having  been  completely 
excavated  and  disclosed,  while  the  other  is  still  cov- 
ered breast  high  with  accumulated  sands  and  rub- 


THE  GREATEST  EGYPTIAN  CAPITAL  573 

bish.  In  the  court  of  the  temple  are  other  colossal 
standing  statues  of  Eameses,  placed  between  the 
gigantic  pillars. 

The  ancient  Egyptian  idea  of  regal  importance 
seems  to  have  been  denoted  by  bigness,  in  frequent 
repetition.  Hence  the  number  and  size  of  these 
huge  statues.  One  of  these  colossal  reproductions 
of  Eameses  is  accompanied  by  the  statue  of  his 
Queen  Xefertari,  her  relative  importance,  when 
compared  with  the  king,  being  indicated  by  a  dimin- 
utive sculpture,  reaching  only  as  high  as  the  knee 
of  the  great  stone  Eameses,  behind  whom  she  seems 
to  cower.  Yet  this  queen  was  the  daughter  of  a 
pharaoh,  and  the  Arabs  declare  that  she  was  the 
princess  who  found  Moses  hidden  in  the  bulrushes, 
down  by  the  river  bank  near  Cairo.  Standing  in 
front  of  this  temple  of  Luxor  originally  were  two 
beautiful  obelisks  of  red  granite,  covered  with  in- 
scriptions. One  still  stands  here,  and  the  other  was 
presented  by  Mehemet  Ali  to  King  Louis  Philippe 
of  France,  and  was  taken  to  Paris,  where  it  is  now 
the  centre  of  the  Place  de  la  Concorde.  The  rigors 
of  the  Parisian  atmosphere  are  destroying  the  in- 
scriptions upon  it,  while  the  inscriptions  upon 
the  obelisk  remaining  here  are  as  plain  as 
when  originally  made,  so  much  gentler  are  the 
airs  of  the  ^ile  Valley.  This  Luxor  temple  is 
constructed  in  two  courts,  and  a  series  of  apart- 
ments, connected  and  surrounded  by  colonnades, 


574:  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

with  adjoining  porticos.  In  the  decorations  are 
representations  of  the  Egyptian  victory  and  capture 
of  the  fortress  of  Kadesh  in  Syria,  with  the  triumph- 
ant king  in  his  chariot,  charging  upon,  his  foes, 
the  Hittites,  who  are  flying  before  him.  The  story 
of  this  great  battle  is  told  in  the  hieroglyphic  inscrip- 
tions, in  a  most  grandiloquent  way.  It  was  about 
the  only  military  achievement  of  the  great  Rameses, 
whose  vanity  was  colossal,  and  he  has  made  the  most 
of  it  here  and  elsewhere.  In  fact,  the  researches 
have  proven  that  he  had  his  name  and  glorification 
inscribed  on  many  temples  and  monuments  that 
were  built  long  before  his  time,  claiming  every- 
thing. 

In  approaching  Luxor,  coming  up  the  Nile,  the 
huge  pylon  of  the  great  temple  of  Karnak  is  seen 
from  afar.  It  is  northeast  of  the  town  of  Luxor, 
a  little  way,  and  the  road  to  it,  over  which  the  don- 
keys race,  is  through  fields  of  grass  and  desert  sands 
that  usually  rise  in  clouds  of  dust  around  the  vis- 
iting cavalcade.  Formerly,  the  Luxor  temple  and 
the  Temple  of  Khonsu  at  Karnak  were  united  by  an 
avenue  guarded  by  rows  of  sphynxes,  sacred  to  Ha. 
The  road  leads  direct  to  this  huge  pylon,  or  entrance 
gate  to  the  Karnak  temple  enclosure,  it  having  been 
built  by  the  Ptolemies.  Karnak,  which  is  the 
greatest  ruin  in  Egypt,  has  three  important  groups 
of  temples :  that  dedicated  to  Ammon,  the  head  of  the 
Theban  triad,  that  of  Khonsu,  the  son,  and  that  of 


THE  GREATEST  EGYPTIAN  CAPITAL  575 

Mut,  the  wife  and  mother.  The  pylon  is  usually 
ascended,  so  that  from  this  high  elevation  the  plan 
of  the  ruins  may  be  traced  out.  In  front  is  seen 
an  avenue  of  sphynxes,  going  off  to  the  river  bank, 
and  far  over  on  the  other  side  to  Kurna,  the  temple 
of  Seti  I,  where  the  avenue  led.  The  vast  court  of 
the  temple  of  Karnak  is  girdled  by  a  wall,  all 
around,  having  beyond  it  a  huge  hypostyle  hall. 
The  Temple  of  Khonsu  is  a  small  affair,  compara- 
tively, seen  at  a  little  distance.  It  is  decorated 
with  columns,  sculptured  in  papyrus,  with  bud  cap- 
itals, its  sanctuary  being  open  at  each  end,  which  is 
unusual  in  the  Egyptian  temples. 

The  girdle  wall  of  brick,  bounding  the  great 
court  of  Karnak,  encloses  a  space  1,800  feet  long  and 
nearly  as  broad.  The  avenue  of  sphynxes  coming 
up  from  the  river,  approaching  it,  had  rams'  heads, 
being  sacred  to  Ammon,  but  they  have  been  mostly 
destroyed.  Between  this  avenue  and  the  main  tem- 
ple there  are  five  pylons  and  four  spacious  courts. 
Statues  and  other  relics  and  inscriptions  have  been 
found  in  the  buildings,  some  of  them  dating  back 
to  the  second  dynasty,  so  the  belief  is  that  this 
temple  was  really  begun,  in  some  form,  in  the  most 
ancient  Egyptian  period.  The  chief  constructors, 
however,  were  Rameses  I,  Seti  I,  Rameses  II  and 
Amenhotep  III,  in  the  eighteenth  and  subsequent 
dynasty,  and  as  late  as  1300  B.  C.,  so  that  to  this 
period  the  most  stupendous  part  of  the  work  belongs. 


576  THE  MEDITERRANEAN 

The  Egyptian  government  has  a  force  of  natives 
constantly  excavating  the  sands  and  debris  that 
have  so  long  covered  the  ruins,  and  there  also  have 
been  made  needed  repairs,  and  some  of  the  fallen 
columns  are  raised.  These  native  excavators,  here 
as  elsewhere,  do  their  work  in  the  most  primitive 
manner.  Both  men  and  boys  are  engaged,  and 
taskmasters  with  whips  direct  them.  The  sand  and 
rubbish  are  scooped  into  small  buckets,  and  putting 
these  on  their  heads,  they  lazily  walk  off  in  long 
lines  to  the  deposit  heap,  singing  as  they  go,  for 
which  labor  the  men  get  about  twenty-five  cents  and 
the  boys  ten  to  fifteen  cents  a  day.  The  structure, 
thus  being  unearthed  by  excavators,  is  stupendous. 
The  ancient  architects  handled  stones  of  immense  size 
by  some  method  not  now  known,  and  the  walls  and 
columns  were  built  of  the  most  enduring  strength 
and  solidity,  as  well  as  of  gigantic  size.  The  huge 
entrance  pylon,  which  the  visitor  usually  ascends,  is 
a  noble  portal  to  the  Temple  of  Ammon,  142  feet 
high  and  372  feet  wide,  with  walls  16  feet  thick. 

In  the  first  court  there  were  four  obelisks  of 
Thothmes  I,  of  which  one  still  remains,  and  in  the 
ruined  colonnade  of  the  second  court  the  great  obe- 
lisk erected  by  Queen  Hatasu,  in  memory  of  her 
father,  Thothmes,  stands  among  the  fragments  of 
the  columns,  the  handsomest,  as  it  is  the  tallest, 
obelisk  in  Egypt.  The  inscription  records  that  it 
was  quarried  at  Assouan,  brought  down  the  river, 


THE  GREATEST  EGYPTIAN  CAPITAL  577 

and  erected  here  in  seven  months.  In  the  court, 
which  is  in  front  of  the  ruined  sanctuary,  are  two 
famous  pillars  erected  by  Thothmes  III,  represent- 
ing the  two  kingdoms.  One  bears  the  papyrus  of 
lower  Egypt,  and  the  other  the  open  lotus  flower, 
the  lily  of  Upper  Egypt.  Behind  this  sanctuary 
are  the  remains  of  the  temple  of  the  Middle  Em- 
pire, the  great  temple, '  which  was  in  full  splendor 
from  the  thirteenth  to  the  sixth  century  B.  C.  This 
wonderful  Hypostyle  Hall,  or  "  Hall  of  Columns," 
of  Karnak,  is  80  feet  high,  338  feet  long,  and  about 
170  feet  broad,  covering  an  area  of  nearly  50,000 
square  feet.  Rawlinson,  the  noted  Egyptologist, 
writes  of  it :  "  The  grandest  of  all  Seti's  work  was 
his  pillared  hall  at  Karnak,  the  most  splendid  single 
chamber  that  has  ever  been  built  by  any  architect, 
and  even  in  its  ruins  one  of  the  grandest  sights  that 
this  world  contains."  The  old  Egyptians  knew 
nothing  of  the  construction  of  the  arch,  and  it  is 
n